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Arranged, Divided, and Briefly Characterized 


Numerical Structure 

THE COVENANT HISTORY— Joshua to (2) Samuel 




1 East 13th Street 

Copyright, 1901, 
LOIZEAUX Bkotheks. 







1. The Books op the Law : — 


The Gospels : — 



( Matthew. 



1. ^ Mark. 



( Luke. 



2. John. 



2. The Covenant-Histoey : — 


The Acts. 







The Pauline Epistles: — 


Kings : — 

First Book {Samuel). 

' Romans. 

Second Book (Kings). 




Capti\"ity-Books : — 









' Thessalonians. 
First Epistle. 

3. The Prophets : — 

Second Epistle. 






First Epistle. 



Second Epistle. 








Tlie Book of Minor Prophets: — 
r Rosea. 

First Epistle. 
Second Epistle. 

1. \ Amos. 


[ 3fica7i. 



The Catholic Epistles : — 

2. \ Obadiah. 


(, Jonah. 

1. Peter. 

( Nahiim. 
3. \ Habakkuk. 

First Epistle. 
Second Epistle. 
2. James. 

( Zephaniah. 

3. John. 

( Haggai. 

First Epistle. 

4. \ Zechariah. 

Second Epistle. 

( Malacki. 

Third Epistle. 
4. Jude. 

4. The Psalm-Boo ks: — 


The Psalms. 






Solomon's Song. 







TO avoid the necessity of reference to the first volume, the meanings 
of the numerals there more fully given are appended here, with 
some slight rectification and enlargement also, such as naturally 
grow out of longer use and investigation. The natural meaning always 
underlies the spiritual ; and this harmony is the justification of the latter, 
showing the symbolism to be real. 

There are but 7 to be considered really, 7 being the well known num- 
ber of perfection, and 8 symbolizing what is new in contrast with the 
old, simply showing that the series does end with the former. Larger 
numbers are but, in their signification, compounds of the smaller ones : 
as ten = 5 X 2 ; twelve = 4X3; forty = 4X5X2. Those which 
cannot be multiplied need more inquiry to determine, as scripture meth- 
ods must be learned from Scripture. 


One always signifies unity, or primacy, — meanings strictly natural, 
but which may be applied variously, as is evident. 

It excludes another; thus may speak of soleness, singleness, even of a 
single state, barrenness. 

So, of sufficiency, competency without help of other, power, om- 
Or, of independency, standing alone, whether competent or not : in 

a creature, rebellion. 
Or, unchangeableness, perpetuity, etei'nity, as implied by these to- 
gether : these are, in fact, but oneness in successive time. 
It excludes difference: if altogether, this is identity; truth is identity 
of the affirmation with the fact. 

If internal difference, then we have harmony of parts or attributes, 
consistency, congruity, righteousness, which is moral congruity 
with position ; integrity, which is " wholeness, oneness." 
If external difference, and in various aspects, agreement, concord, 
peace, the being at one. 
All these are but, in different ways, the same idea fundamentally, and 
no doubt the number of its expressions might be increased; but " one " 
may stand also for its ordinal, first, primacy : — 

Thus in time, the beginning, which may be, as with God, causative, and 
so speak of " source, cause, origin, paternity," easily passing into the 
thought of supremacy, sovereignty, headship; while in connection with 
mind it implies ** plan, counsel, election, will." 


Two is fundamentally the opposite of one : there is now another. 
Hence it speaks of difference; which in deepening grades becomes *' con- 


trast, opposition, conflict, enmity." It is the first number which divides : 
sin, evil, Satan's work, come naturally in under these heads. 

This is the bad sense ; in the good, however, it is equally significant. 
This our word "seconding" conveys in its main features. Analyzed, 
this gives as the first thought that of help, and along with this that of 
taking an inferior place : thus " salvation, ministry, service, humiliation," 
alike would come under it. Again, as " the testimony of two men is 
true," — the one confirming the other, — so the number symbolizes "wit- 
ness, the word." But this is connected also with the thought of tivo, 
side by side simply ; and here we have " relation, felloAVship," and, not 
far off from these, "addition, increase, growth." As a product of these 
thoughts (relation, addition, and the inferior place,) we get the further 
thoughts of " dependence, faith." 

" It will be observed how these various meanings unite in Christ, the 
second Person of the Godhead, the second Man, and uniting these two 
natures, the divine and the human, in His own person, — the Saviour 
humbling Himself to death to serve us " ; the true Witness also, and the 
" Leader and Finisher of faith." 

Again, " death is division, separation, the last enemy ; yet the death 
of the cross, in which the conflict between good and evil rose to its 
height, is once again salvation. Nowhere is there so great a contrast, 
such apparent contradiction, as in the Cross." 

" Woman illustrates, too, this number, full of contrasts as she is : de- 
pendent on man, but his help-meet ; the type of increase, yet through 
whom came sin, death, and, yet again, through her victorious * Seed,' 

Finally, the law, the legal covenant, comes under this number. 


Three is the symbol of cubic measure, solid measure, solidity : it 
stands for what is solid, real, substantial, — for fullness, actuality. Three 
is the number of Persons in the Godhead, and with this alone God is 
fully manifested. The Holy Ghost, the third Person, realizes in the 
creature the counsels of God. Sanctification is His special work. 

The sanctuary, God's dwelling-place, is a cube ; the final city, which 
the glory of God lightens, is a cube : " the length and the breadth and 
the height of it are equal." In the sanctuary God manifests Himself; 
in resurrection, too. He is manifested : therefore resurrection is on the 
third day. " Eenewal, recovery, remembrance," connect with this. 
Glory is the manifestation of God, and heaven His sanctuary ; worship 
and praise glorify Him. 

Possession, dwelling-place, seem to come under this number ; and fruit 
manifests the tree. 


Four is the first number which allows simple division ; as two is the 
number which divides it. It is the symbol of weakness, therefore ; and 
we are now outside the numbers which speak of God : we have here, 
then, the creature in contrast with the Creator. In Scripture, 4 divides 
either as 3 + 1, the numbers of manifestation and creative sovereignty, 


God being seen in the work of His hand ; or it divides as 2 X 2, true 
division, and significant of strife and evil. 

Four is also the number of the four corners of the earth, of earthly 
completeness and universality, which has still on it the stamp of weak- 
ness. It is the number of the four winds of heaven, the various and 
opposing influences of which the earth is the scene. Thus we have the 
thoughts of testing and experience, which with man connect themselves 
so constantly with failure. The earth- walk comes thus naturally under 
this number. 


"In the cleansing of the leper and the consecration of the priest alike, 
the blood is put upon three parts of man which together manifest what 
he is, — the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, the great 
toe of the right foot. By the ear he is to receive the word of God ; with 
the hand, to do the enjoined work ; with the foot, to walk in His blessed 
ways. This is evidently man in his whole responsibility. 

"Each of these parts is stamped with the number 5, 

" The ear is the avenue to the higher part, and there are just^ve such 
senses, by which man is connected with the scene around, — the avenues 
of perception by which alone he can be appealed to. 

"The hand of man is that by which he moulds and fashions the nat- 
ural world around him. It is the expression of active power, — the four 
fingers, with the opposing thumb, the consecrated because the governing 
part. These on the two hands give ten, the number of the command- 
ments in the two tables of the law, the measure of natural responsi- 

"The foot, the expression of personal conduct (the walk), gives a 
similar division, much less marked however ; and the tivo feet a similar 
ten. Five stands thus as the number of man, exercised and responsible 
under the government of God." 

Notice how carefully man's power is characterized as creature, depend- 
ent power. His hand is the instrument of it as the vicegerent of God 
in the world ; no beast has in any proper sense a hand. Yet the power 
is in no way like divine power, — simple and without efibrt, but a co- 
operation of forces, in which (as he recognizes) "union is strength:" the 
four fingers, every way significant of weakness, helped by the single, 
strong opposing thumb ; the two hands also assisting one another. 

Agreeing with this. Scripture commonly shows us 5 as 4 -}- 1, that 
is, man the creature in connection with the Almighty God his Ruler yet 
his Helper. Here the divine ways yet give him constant and needed 
exercise, and 5 will be found often associated with this thought of exer- 
cise under responsibility, but also with the kindred one, that man's way 
(4) under the control of God (1) according to its character leads to its 
ordained end. " Recompense, capacity, responsibility " are the most 
common thoughts connected with the number 5. 

But "man in relation with God" spells in a higher sense "Emman- 
uel," and points once more to Christ. 


Ten is only the double five : I can see no real difference. 



Six is the second number capable of true division. Divided, its fac- 
tors are 2 and 3, which easily yield the thought of the manifestation (or 
fullness) of evil, or of the enemy's work. But evil is weakness, as again 
this divisibility teaches ; and as such it must yield to God. Read in a 
good sense, the number of conflict (2) brings forth fi'om it sanctification 
and the glory of God (3). 

It is the number of man's work-day week, the appointed time of his 
labor, the type of his life-labor, his few and evil days, limited because 
of sin. 

In its full meaning it speaks of sin in full development, limited and 
controlled by God, who glorifies Himself in the issue of it. The thoughts 
of discipline, and of mastery, — overcoming — will be found under this 

Seven and Twelve, 

Seven is well known as the number of perfection, and so of rest. But 
it may be applied to evil, and simply show " completeness " of any kind. 

Twelve is in Scripture as commonly divided into 4 X 3 as seven is into 
4 -|- 3. The factors are the same ; but whereas in the one case they are 
added, in the other they are multiplied. Seven and twelve should be in 
some sense, therefore, allied in meaning. It is only in the relation of its 
factors to one another that 12 differs from 7 : " the number of the world 
and that of divine manifestation characterize it ; but these are not (as in 
7) side by side merely. It is God manifesting Himself in relation to the 
world of His creation, as 7 is, but now in active energy laying hold of 
and transforming it. Thus 12 is the number of manifest sovereignty, as 
it was exercised in Israel, for instance, by the Lord in the midst of them, 
or as it will be exercised in the world to come. 

Turn now to the complete rest of the people of God, — to the 'new 
Jerusalem ' which has the glory of God, whose light God is, and the 
Lamb the lamp of it ; to which the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb 
are the temple. Here perfection and rest are found, if anywhere ; 
the thought connected, as abundantly plain, with 7 : yet what do we 
find ? Look at the foundations of the city : they are twelve in number. 
Look at the gates : there are t^velve gates. Measure the city : its length, 
breadth, and height, are equal, — twelve thousand furlongs each. Meas- 
ure the height of the wall, 144 cubits— 12 X 12. Behold the tree of life 
planted by the river that issues from the throne of God : it bears twelve 
manner of fruits, and yields its fruit every month — 12 times a year. 
Everywhere this number 12 meets us where we might expect to find 
the 7. It has the factors of 7 ; it is, as it were, the expansion of 7 ; and 
the spiritual idea which shines through it, that God is everywhere the 
manifest Ruler, what does it speak of to our hearts but complete sub- 
jection to Him, which is indeed the perfection of the creature, and its 

♦ " Spiritual Law in the Natural World," pp. 74, 75. The application of numbers to the 
interpretation of nature I have sought to give in the book quoted here. 



)ec0i)d. Tf ei)f<a:leucr) oj fr)e ©la '*[^cslan)ci)f 

The Arbangement of the Books as here given. 

HAVING concluded, through the mercy of God, the five books of 
Moses, or of the Law, ordinarily knowm as "the fivefold book," 
or Pentateuch, we now enter upon what is in fact a second 
Pentateuch, answering in its main divisions to the first, not only in the 
number of books, but in their character also. 

The historical books of the Old Testament, outside of the books of 
Moses, form a most natural division of it, and their unity in this way 
one would think impossible to be questioned did we not know that in 
fact among the Jews generally another order obtains. This we must 
consider presently. The order in our Bibles is that of the Septuagint, 
and we assume it for the present as the true one. According to this, 
there are nine historical books which follow Deuteronomy ; but these 
fall easily into five divisions, Ruth being but a supplement to Judges, 
Samuel and Kings giving together the history of the monarchy, with 
the events which gave it birth, while the three books of the captivity, 
or the times of subjection to Gentile rule, similarly come together. 
Thus we have, — 

1. Joshua. 

2. Judges, with Ruth. 

3. The Books of the Kings (Samuel and Kings). 

4. The Books of the Captivity (Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther). 

5. Chronicles. 

But according to the rule (which we need not now undertake to 
establish) of numerical structure, it is not a mere division into five parts 


that can satisfy us. It must be shown that these fill severally the place 
assigned to each by the significance of the numbers, the order being the 
necessary historical one, except that Chronicles comes last, as in fact a 
resume of the history, with a very distinct moral attaching, — one may 
almost say, a judicial summing up. 

Now this last is Deuteronomic in character, and at once confirms the 
place of Chronicles as the fifth and final division of a Pentateuchal series. 
The captivity books preceding it perhaps as plainly fill the fourth place ; 
Israel being now in what Ezekiel calls "the wilderness of the peoples" 
(Ezek. XX. 35), under the power of the world, which God had put into 
the hands of the Gentiles. We have still three other divisions to account 
for. Of these, Joshua would stand as the Genesis ; and we shall find in 
it, little as at first it would appear so, much of the fullness of Genesis, — 
of course, under the vail of type, which is common to all the Old-Testa- 
ment histories. 

The first book of Scripture is, as such, the introduction to the whole : 
Joshua is but the introduction to the history of Israel in possession of 
the land (the book of Esther being the only and brief exception for a 
special purpose). But to this history Joshua is as really the introduction 
as Genesis to the whole, and this is plain. It answers well, moreover, 
to its numerical place, as showing divine power acting according to 
promise for the people, who are at present, on the whole, obedient. 
Judges is farther from the breadth of Exodus than Joshua fi-om that of 
Genesis : all through, we are on narrower ground. It is the little book 
of Buth, which, in perfect keeping with the character of the legal cove- 
nant, brings in as a supplement, and under a vail, in connection ivith the 
genealogy of David, and thus of David's Son and antitype, the storj^ of 
redemption by a Kinsman-Kedeemer. Deliverances there are all 
through the book of Judges ; but the picture is one rather of Canaauite 
alliances, — of breach, therefore, with God, Israel's unity broken uj), 
— nay, man sundered fi'om man. Of this double breach, the two supple- 
ments are the illustration: chaps, xvii., xviii. giving the establishment 
of idolatry early in the tribe of Dan ; the three following ones, the social 
disorder , in the crime at Gibeah and the war with Benjamin. Nothing 
certainly could more truly fill its numerical place than does Judges. 
There remain only the books of the Kings, which include, as a first book, 
Samuel. This is the third section here ; and as compared with Judges,- 
it is, as to the first part, a real resurrection-history, though ending in- 
evitably in the rum and dispersion of the people. In inseparable con- 
nection with the Judah-dynasty of David's house, we have the history 
of the sanctuary — the dwelling-place and throne of God, which the king 
in Israel, only as His vice-gerent, filled (1 Chron. xxix. 23). This gives 
its significance to these books, Samuel giving the tabernacle-period, 
Kings the temple, the subversion of which by Nebuchadnezzar brings 
the section to a close. 


Their Place in the Hebrew Canon. 

Thus, while as history these books fill their place, and are (except, for 
a plain reason, Chronicles,) in necessary chronological order, the five 
divisions into which they fall are confirmed and explained by the nu- 
merical structure, which, in common with all Scripture, they thus exhibit. 
But we cannot pass on until we have fairly looked at and answered as 
we may the objection that will be raised on the ground of the different 
arrangement of the Hebrew canon. Is this authoritative ? and if not, 
is there any that is so ? 

A reader of our English Bible finds one invariable arrangement of the 
books throughout, and is naturally apt to think this as much inspired as 
are the books themselves ; but this is only the result of such a uniformity 
of copies as has been brought about by printing. The order in our books 
is, in general, as to the Old Testament, the order of the Septuagint, the 
Greek translation, which was in general use in our Lord's time among 
those that spoke Greek. But this is very naturally spoiled, for many, 
by the introduction of apocryphal books among the canonical ones. The 
Hebrew has also, as being such, quite intelligibly, the preference in the 
minds of most. In the Hebrew arrangement, there is a classification of 
books under three heads, — " the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings." 
Here, the Prophets come next to the Law, — i. e., the five books of 
Moses; but the four historical books — Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and 
Kings, — these, and no more than these, — are counted among these as 
^^ former prophets," clearly upon the ground of their being presumed to 
be written by such. The rest of these are referred to the Kethubim, or 
"Writings," as well as Daniel and Lamentations from the Prophets; 
and the "Writings" fall thus into three divisions: first, the Psalms, 
Proverbs, Job; secondly, the Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ec- 
clesiastes, Esther; thirdly, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. 

The three great classes here are thought to be recognized by our Lord 
Himself in Luke xxiv. 44, where He says to His disciples that "all 
things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the Law of Moses, 
and the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning Me." Here, there are 
three divisions ; and the Prophets come, as in the Hebrew, before the 
Psalms. This much is clear ; but it is not certain, from this, that He 
meant to put the historical books among the prophets, nor would they 
come so naturally to be mentioned where He is speaking of fulfillment 
of prophecy. And again, the mention of the "Psalms" still less sanc- 
tions the whole division of Kethubim, strangely composite as it is. The 
numerical arrangement recognizes the divisions in general, and the 
order, as the Lord appears to do, while it restores the two prophetic 
books to what surely seems their natural place, and the five historical 
books also to their natural connections. 

How clear the place of Daniel is may be seen by considering that his 


book stands fourth of the greater prophets, and that he is correspond- 
ingly the prophet of the world-empires, — that is, of Israel in subjection 
to Gentile rule, as Ezra and Nehemiah are the historians of the same 
period. Among the minor prophets, which are twelve in number, and 
like most Scripture twelves, a 4 X 3, the fourth triad — Haggai, Zechariah, 
and Malachi are, again, representatives of the "times of the Gentiles." 

Thus the Hebrew divisions and order, with the single exception of 
the Prophets preceding what we may fittingly call "the experience 
books," seem to transgress the natural; nor can any commentators 
justify them as a whole. Delitzsch, as good an authority on such mat- 
ters as can be found perhaps, writes thus in his commentary upon Job : — 

"As the work of the Chokma [the didactic class], the book of Job stands, 
with the three other works belonging to this class of the Israelitish literature, 
among the Hagiographa, which are called in Hebrew simply the Kethubim. 
Thus, by the side of the Law and the Prophets, the third division of the canon ia 
styled, in which are included all those writings belonging neither to the prov- 
ince of prophetic history nor prophetic declaration. Among the Hagiographa 
are writings even of a prophetic character, as Psalms and Daniel, but their 
writers are not properly prophets. [?] At present, Lamentations stands among 
them, but this is not its original place; as also Euth appears to have stood origi- 
nally between Judges and Samuel. Both Lamentations and Euth are placed among 
Hagiographa, that the)-e the so-called Megilloth, or scrolls, may stand together; 
the Song of Songs, the feast-book of the eighth passover-day; Euth, that of the 
second Shabuoth-day; Lamentations, that of the ninth of Ab ; Ecclesiastes, that 
of the eighth tabernacle-day; Esther, that of Purim .... The position which 
[the book of Job] occupies is, moreover, a very shifting one. In the Alexandrine 
canon. Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, follow the four books 
of the Kings. The historical books, therefore, stand, from the earliest to the 
latest, side by side ; then begins, with Job, Psalms, Proverbs, a new row, opened 
with these three, in stricter sense, poetical books. Then Melito of Sardis, in the 
second century, places Chronicles with the books of Kings, but arranges immedi- 
ately after them the non-historical Hagiographa in the following order : Psalms, 
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Job. Here the Solomonic writings are joined 
to the Davidic psalter, and the anonymous book of Job stands last. In our edi- 
tions of the Bible, the Hagiographa division begins with Psalms, Proverbs, Job, 
(the succession peculiar to MSS. of the German class); in the Talmud, with Euth, 
Psalms, Job, Proverbs; in the Masora, and in MSS. of the Spanish class, with 
Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs. All these modes of arrangement are well 
considered. ' ' 

They are at least very instructive, as they show us how little divine 
authority was even supposed to be in any one of them. They show us, 
moreover, how the original arrangement had been broken through, as in 
the case of the five Megilloth so called, for mere liturgic purposes. Thus 
we are surely free to accept an arrangement which, while it is substan- 
tially that of the Septuagint and of our present Bibles, seems to be aa 
natural as it is conformable to the character and requirements of 
numerical structure. 

It is indeed said of the five books which have been thus displaced 


from the "prophetic" histories that they "are at once distinguished 
from the above-mentioned prophetic-historic writings by this character- 
istic, that they treat only of single parts of the history of the covenant- 
people from individual points of view." {Keil.) But this writer sees only 
in the book of Ruth " a charming historical picture from the life of the 
ancestors of King David." In his introduction to the book itself, he 
seems, indeed, on the point of discovering the higher significance; he 
says, ^^ But thei-e is also a Messianic trait in the fact that Ruth, a heathen 
woman, of a nation so hostile to the Israelites as that of Moab was, 
should have been thought worthy to be made the tribe-mother of the 
great and pious King David, on account of her faithful love to the peo- 
ple of Israel, and her entire confidence in Jehovah, the God of Israel." 
And he even notices the appearance of her name with those of Tamar 
and Rahab in the genealogy of the Lord in Matthew. Yet, from regard- 
ing the book as mere literal history, he does not see the really prophetic 
character which the typical, and therefore most spiritual, side of the 
book presents, and so gives it its place as little more than anecdotal 
among the Kethubim. 

We hope to look more frilly at the place and connection of the other 
books thus degraded, with Ruth, from their true rank as prophetic 
history. But we may clearly see how in this way their whole character 
is lowered, and orthodox commentators (such as Keil is) have undesign- 
edly favored low views of inspiration by their mere and excessive liter- 
ality. Let it be reiterated and emphasized here, that while Scripture 
history is, on the one hand, always true history, it is, on the other, never 
simply that. It is ALWAYS prophetic — having to do with Christ, and the 
divine purposes of which He is the centre ; and the typical view — or 
what Paul calls (Gal. iv. 24) the " allegorizing " of the history — is pre- 
eminently that which lifts it up to its true plane, and so gives it its full 
value. While the complete and connected scheme which these histories, 
so interpreted, develop gives the most absolute conviction that the 
allegoric meaning is not something foisted upon them by human imagin- 
ation, but innate and essential and divine. Those who do not receive it 
dishonor, and are compelled to dishonor. Scripture, and thus give the 
so-called "higher criticism" its fullest justification. 

Higher Criticism and the Hexateuch. 

We have now reached a place from which it will be most convenient to 
review the pretensions of what assumes to be the " higher " criticism ; 
lofty enough indeed in these, and manifesting abundantly the spirit of 
the latter days, — days which Scripture characterizes with sufficient 
plainness. To its advocates, that it should manifest this will not even 
be a reproach ; for nothing is more the boast of these latter times than 
the scientific spirit, and here is but in their eyes the scientific spirit 


in religion: where should it be more needful? The spirit of science 
being to-day evolutionist, the higher criticism will be found to be little 
else than Darwinism (morals and all) in another sphere, — a sphere 
which, so much the more important as it is, craves the more for it an 
eai'nest examination. 

It is the well-known characteristic of Darwinism, that it substitutes 
a theory of the hoiv for the why, with the effect of removing the appear- 
ance of design from nature. What appears like design may be but a 
consequence of the mode or conditions of production, — a consequence, 
not a cause; and the universe be the result of the operation of natural 
laws, apart from all supernatural superintendence or interference. As 
Huxley says, "For the notion that every organism has been created 
as it is, and launched straight at a purpose, Mr. Darwin substitutes 
the conception of something which may be fairly termed a method of 
trial and error. Organisms vary incessantly ; of these variations, the 
few meet with surrounding conditions which suit them, and thrive; 
the many are unsuited and become extinguished." It is on account of 
this elimination of design out of the world that skeptics and material- 
ists range themselves so unanimously under the leadership of Darwin ; 
and this they proclaim a distinguished merit of his scheme. Others 
have, of course, taken it up who can by no means be classed with these, 
and thus it has received various modifications. But the original vice of 
the thing manifests itself through all, as far as possible from the spirit 
of Scripture, the attempt, which we have even been told is " the duty of 
the man of science, to push back the Great First Cause in time as far as 
possible," The beauty and blessedness of Scripture consists in its per- 
sistent effort to bring God nigh. 

It is certainly a bold and subtle plan of the enemy to import in this 
sense the scientific spirit into Scripture itself, to fix our minds upon 
theories of its production which are proclaimed incapable of damage 
to our faith because merely that, until we find that unawares we have 
indeed "pushed back" God far into the distance. The "higher" 
criticism, as distinct from that of textual integrity, concerns itself, it is 
said, only with questions of " authorship, etc," * — where the " etc," will 
be found much the most important part — of the Bible books. " Its 
conclusions," says Prof. Driver, " affect not the fact of revelation, but 
only its /orm. They help to determine the stages through which it 
passed, the different phases which it assumed, and the process by which 
the record of it was built up. They do not touch either the authority 
or the inspiration of the scriptures of the Old Testament, They imply 
no change in respect to the divine attributes revealed in the Old Testa- 
ment, no change in the lessons of human duty to be derived from it, no 
change as to the general position (apart fi-om the interpretation of 

♦Sanday : "The Oracles of God," p. 30. 


particular passages) that the Old Testament points forward prophetically 
to Christ.*" 

Harmless as it thus looks, it is an admitted fact that the patchwork 
theory which the higher criticism accepts was horn of infidelity, cra- 
dled in rationalism, and is to this day claimed rightly by professors of it 
such as Kuenen, for whom " the Israelitish religion is one of the principal 
religions, — nothing less, but also nothing more:" a " manifestation of 
the religious spirit of mankind." The babe has been stolen, taught a 
somewhat different accent, smuggled in among Christians, and passed 
off as Christian ; but though made to appear lamblike, its voice is still 
the dragon's. Even as interpreted by Dr. Driver, it can contradict 
Christ to the face, as where, in His application of the hundred and tenth 
psalm to Himself He avers that " David in spirit calls Him Lord," while 
the higher criticism says, " This psalm, though it may be ancient, can 
hardly have been composed by David." f But, indeed, everywhere it 
contradicts Christ, who says, and just of these Old-Testament books, 
"Scripture cannot be broken" (Jno. x. 35), while these men are con- 
tinually, to their own satisfaction, proving that it can, and their system 
could not be maintained apart from this. 

The very criteria by which they distinguish the different documents 
that make up, for instance, the book of Genesis, involve the idea of con- 
tradictory statements, too inconsistent to be fi"om one hand. Thus the 
order of creation in the second narrative (chap. ii. 4-6, seq.) is said to 
be "evidently opposed to the order indicated in chap. i."J True, the 
editor who, in their conception of the matter, put them together, did 
not see it, and thus has left (happily for them) the seams of his patch- 
work visible, when once the critical eye rests upon it. So the narrative 
of the deluge, where in one document " of every clean beast seven are 
to be taken into the ark, while in vi. 19 {cf. vii. 15) two of every sort, 
without distinction, are prescribed." § Again: "The section xxvii. 46- 
xxviii. 9 differs appreciably in style from xxvii. 1-45, and at the same 
time exhibits Rebekah as influenced by a different motive in suggest- 
ting Jacob's departure from Canaan, — not to escape his brother's anger, 
but to procure a wife agreeable to his parents' wishes. Further, we find 
two explanations of the origin of the na,xne ^ Bethel;^ two of 'Israel:^ 
xxxii. 3, xxxiii. 16, Esau is described as already resident in Edom, 
while xxxvi. 6, seq., his migration thither is attributed to causes which 
could only have come into operation after Jacob's return to Canaan. "| 

" Scripture cannot be broken "? — why, here it is broken ! All these 
are plainly given as statements contradictory of one another ; for that 
is the only reason why one writer should not be supposed to have 
written them all. It is easier to suppose an editor who put them 
together not perceiving the contradiction between them, although 

♦Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament." Preface, p. xi. 
t Introduction, p. 362, n. J p. 7. g p. 7. J p. 8. 


strangely too, as none of these statements lie very far apart. But 
Scripture can, then, be broken: and "if we are forced to answer" 
how the Lord could make such mistakes as these. Dr. Sanday tells us 
piously " that the explanation must lie in the fact that He of whom 
we are speaking is not only God, but Man. The error of statement 
would belong in some way to the humanity and not to the divinity " ! * 

Can, then. He who for Christians is the Great Teacher, and who 
claims to be in some sense the only one (Matt, xxiii. 8) lead us astray ? 
To prove the possibility, Dr. Sanday stamps the expression He uses, 
"He maketh the sun to rise" as '■'■imperfect science ^^ (!) and to those 
who, timidly enough, "maintain that questions relating to the author- 
ship of the Old Testament touch more nearly the subject-matter of 
Eevelation," he puts the question, "Are these distinctions valid? Are 
they valid enough to be insisted upon so strongly as they must 
be if the arguments based upon them are to hold good?" 

He answers for himself : "I greatly doubt it;" and by and by un- 
dertakes to read us a lecture on humility: "In regard to these ques- 
tions, I think we shall do better to ponder the words of the psalm, 
— 'Lord, I am not high-minded; I have no proud looks. I do not 
exercise myself on great matters which are too high for me.' " (! !) 

So Scripture is broken, and we must not be so haughty as to defend 
it. Dr. Sanday, with all the scientists of the day, have expunged the 
word "sunrise" from their dictionary, and of course never use it. 
Scripture, even in its most positive assertions may mislead us ; only let 
us talk piously: "I should be loth to believe" — notice, my reader, it is 
Dr. Sanday who would be " loth to believe that our Lord accommodated His 
language to current notions, knowing them to be false. I prefer to 
think, as it has been happily worded, that He ' condescended not to 
know.' " 

Piously, however, or impiously, it is the same thing in result : Scrip- 
ture has passed out of our hands. Even the author we have quoted 
confesses, as to these changes in men's thoughts about it, that "it 
must be admitted frankly that they involve a loss. ... In old days, it 
was very much as with the Jews in the time of our Lord. When any 
question arose of doctrine or practice, all that was needed was to turn 
the pages of Scripture until one came to a place which bore upon the 
point at issue. This was at once applied just as it stood, without 
hesitation and without misgiving." f Dr. Sanday owns that this, 
according to their view, is gone, although he is not so candid as he 
seems, when he tells us Jiotv far it is gone. It is 7iot merely that " the 
inquirer feels bound, not only to take the passage along with its 
context," which was always true, nor even "also to ask. Who was the 
author? when did he write? and with what stage in the history of reve- 
lation is the particular utterance connected? " — questions, some of them. 

♦Oracles, p. 10. t Oracles, p. 76. 


which have no likelihood of being ever answered, — the much deeper 
question is now, Is the utterance true ? and instead of our becoming as 
"babes" to have divine things revealed to us, we must be learned men, 
and that to no ordinary extent, in order to pass judgment upon the 
mingled truth and error presented in Scripture ! By and by. Dr. Sanday 
hopes, with the help of specialists who are devoting themselves to this, 
we shall have an annotated — really, a purged — Bible, which will make 
things easier for simple souls. Practically, thus, another great principle 
that our Lord announces is taken from us. Scripture becomes like a 
morass — with firm footing, indeed, somewhere, if I could only find it ; 
but, alas! without help, I cannot even know what is firm from what is 
treacherous ! We are not to be delivered from the necessity of faith : 
"I, like them," — the intelligent among his audience — "must take a 
great deal upon trust,"* says Dr. Sanday; but it is trust in the com- 
petency of the critics! The "open Bible" of which we have boasted is 
to be taken from us, and that more completely than by Romanism itself. 

As to the historical books of the Old Testament, with which we 
are now concerned, they are, according to this view, " in many parts," 
{how many, we have no means of knowing, it would seem,) ^'traditions, 
in which the original representation has been insensibly modified, and 
sometimes (especially in the later books,) colored by the associations of 
the age in which the author recording it lived." No wonder, then, 
" (2) that some freedom was used by ancient historians in placing 
speeches or discourses in the mouths of historical characters. In some 
cases, no doubt, such speeches agreed substantially with what was 
actually said ; but often they merely develop at length, in the style and 
manner of the narrator, what was handed down only as a compendious 
report, or what was deemed to be consonant with the temper and aim of 
a given character on a particular occasion. No satisfactory conclusions 
with respect to the Old Testament will be arrived at without due 
account being taken of these two principles " !f 

"Scripture cannot be broken"! — how far have we got away from 
this ! Perhaps, however, the Lord never said that. Perhaps it is some 
chronicler of a tradition, piecing and patching some musty manuscripts, 
who put that sentence into His mouth ? They were very little careful 
about such things, those old historians. Man had not developed, at 
that age of the world, into the moral being that he is to-day. The 
criticism of the New Testament is steadily progressing. Volter, Visher, 
Weizacker, Pfleiderer, hailing from authoritative German universities, 
have shown us, but a short time since, the composite character of the 
Apocalypse. Steck has done the same for the epistle to the Galatians, 
and has proved, to his own satisfaction, that neither this nor Corinthians 
nor Romans is of Pauline origin. Voller has found later still that 
Romans is made up of no less than seven difierent epistles ; Spitta, only 

♦ " Oracles," p. 7. f Driver, " Introduction," pref. xili. n. 


the year before last, that the Acts consists of two accounts, put together 
by a " redactor." * All these are Germans, are professors, or at least 
students, of colleges, and 0/ course, competent men ! Is it not safer to 
withdraw, while there is yet time to do so with honor, fi-om the extreme 
position of verbal inspiration which all these and a host of others so de- 
terminedly attack ? Is it not more reverent to believe that the Lord 
did not vouch for this, which, after all, these learned men cannot accept 
as fact? 

Well, what is left us? It is impossible just yet to know. We shall, 
of course, have the criticisms left ; but even the value of these is doubt- 
ful. Certainly, " to the poor," their gospel cannot be preached. With 
all their wisdom, they cannot distinguish a stone from bread, and know 
nothing of the need of the human heart, — of the sickening sense of 
having only uncertainty when the future is to be faced, — of the awful 
silence in the soul when what was held for the voice of God has died 
out of it. Is there no possibility of distinguishing what is really that 
from every merely human voice whatever? Drs. Sanday, Driver, and 
many of their fellows agree that He has spoken ; but it is something 
in the air, which has not shaped itself in definite words : the tvords are 
human ! Yes, and is there no possibility that He who became man, in 
His desire to be with us, — if that is among the things left still, — can 
speak definitely in a human voice ? Oh, if I must yet " take a great deal 
upon 'trust," may I not trust this wondrous book, which, like the Un- 
changeable in whose name it speaks, is the Past in a living Present, 
rather than all the opinions of all the critics in the world? Can they 
reconstruct this life pervading it, which their dissections in vain search 
after? Can they give me, with all their wisdom, another Bible, or add 
a book to it, even? No, they cannot; and by that fact, Scripture 
is shown more authoritative than its would-be judges. I may have 
here to "take a great deal upon trust," but it is a trust which heart and 
conscience approve, and which gives rest and satisfaction to them. It 
has the witness of centuries to it, and of adoring multitudes in every 
century, who in every circumstance have found faith in the Bible the 
one thing sufficing them. Are these modern critics more to be believed 
than the living Christ this book has given me ? No, says my highest 
reason ; — no, ten thousand times : it is here I trust alone, — with the faith 
of a little child, if you will, — trust and rest here. 

But we need not be afraid of their arguments. As with evolution in 
its other branches, the facts which the higher criticism produces — so 
long as they are facts, — are always interesting, and can be read with 
profit in the light of the "why." The "why" — the design — reveals 
the heart of the designer ; and where the " how," if it can be ascertained, 
and while it is connected with this, may illustrate the wisdom of the 
designer, the purpose in it exhibits him in his whole moral character. 

* Prof. Jacobus, in The Hartford Seminary Record. 


If there is no design, the mere "how" of accomplishment is utterly 
trivial. If the apparent footprint in the sand be not human, and my 
solitude is to find no relief, how much to me is it to learn how winds 
and waves have mocked me ? But think of men being frenzied with 
delight in being able to show that what seems mind in all around is not 
that, and that chance really rules in all the law and order that exist ! 
This most certain truth that chance is nowhere makes every fact at 
once of interest : they are real footprints that are round about me, — 
and not of a human comforter, but a divine ! 

How many hands have contributed to make up Scripture is a thing 
with which Scripture itself does not concern itself or occupy us. Of 
the writers of most of the historical books we have no real knowledge ; 
and if Moses compiled Genesis from existing records, such as are 
referred to in some of the later books, there would be nothing at all in 
this to stumble us. We are only concerned to know that where Moses 
is credited, in either Old or New Testament, with writing or speaking, 
— this, with all the rest, is absolutely true and trustworthy. But this 
is entirely contrary to Prof. Driver's canon, without which he thinks 
no satisfactory conclusions can be reached as to the Old Testament, 
Traditions, modified and colored by the historian, and interspersed with 
speeches fictitious to whatever extent one may desire, — this is what he 
conceives it to be. 

The facts upon which the document-theory is founded are, as I 
have said, interesting where they are facts. Often they are not. The 
linguistic argument (or that from characteristic words,) has been well 
refuted by Vos,* and his book is accessible to all who desire it. The 
argument from discrepancies may be found, in part, there also. The 
few specimens already given from Driver are as forcible as most, and 
the readers of the present book can be at little loss to answer them. It 
is not difiicult to see that the order of creation in the second chapter 
of Genesis is, so far as the plants and beasts are concerned, not an order 
at all ; that the specification of pairs of living creatures in God's first 
communication to Noah is in no wise inconsistent with an after-specifi- 
cation of sevens for beasts that were clean ; that Eebekah, just like one 
of ourselves, might easily have had a double motive for sending Jacob 
to Laban ; while Esau's having been in Edom before Jacob's return to 
Canaan would not in the least affect the question of a later and final 
return thither. The double naming of Bethel and of Israel, glanced at 
in our notes (vol. i., p. 99), has a special significance, of which the 
higher criticism in general, being of the earth earthy, takes no account. 

For any detailed reply to criticisms of this sort it would be impos- 
sible to find room here. The facility with which they can be made is 
as insnaring to those who would gain a cheap reputation as it is con- 
demnatory of the whole. There is probably no book that could not be 

♦Mosaic Origin of the Pentateuchal Codes." By Geerhardus Vos, N. Y. 


cut up after the same fashion, and the smaller the fragments the more 
readily can it be done. A single verse, thus, in a section pronounced 
" Elohistic," if it has the name of Jehovah, proves itself to be from a 
" Jehovistic " source; and we have such dissections as this of Gen. xxx. 
from Prof. Driver, where verses 1-3", 6, 8, 17-20", 20'=-23, are given as 
Elohistic, so called from the use in it of " Elohim " (God), while the rest, 
including a fragment from the middle of the 20th verse, is Jehovistic ! 

Such attempts practiced upon any other book would find speedy 
and scornful relegation to the limbo of conceits that perish in their 
birth. Only the wondrous life of the book itself seems as if it kept 
alive the very enemies that seek its destruction. The interests that are 
involved beget an interest in the attack upon them ; and in a world 
which has held the cross, the carnal mind still shows itself as enmity 
against God. As has been said, no detail can be ventured upon here, — 
and in truth the detail would be terribly wearisome ; but we may look 
a little at the broad features of what is proposed to us as the Bible of 
the future, so far as it affects what we have already had before us. 

We are to have no longer a Pentateuch, nor any books of Moses. 
Moses' part in the laws of Israel is an undefined and ever-vanishing 
quantity. The extreme party of critics cannot, of course, allow Israel 
to be any exception to the law of development which ordains man to 
have struggled on and up from the level of his ape-like ancestors un- 
aided by any revelation of God. Prof Toy, of Harvard, outlines the 
" History of the Religion of Israel " after this manner : — 

"A comparatively large law-book was written (Deuteronomy, about B.C. 
622) ; and this, in accordance with the ideas of the times, which demanded the 
authority of ancient sages and lawgivers, was ascribed to Moses . . . After 
various law-books had been written, they were all gathered up, sifted, and edited 
about the time of Ezra (B.C. 450), as one book. This is substantially our 
present Law (Tora), or Pentateuch, {pp. 6, 7.) 

"Nations do not easily change their gods; it is not likely that Moses could or 
would introduce a new deity. But as the Israelites believed that he had made 
some great change, it may be that through his means the worship of Yahwe 
[Jehovah] became more general — became, in fact, in a real sense, the national 
worship. This would not necessarily mean that no other deities were worshiped 
.... Still less would it mean that therei was only one God, — that is, that all 
other pretended gods were nothing. This is what we believe, and what the 
later Israelites (about the time of the exile and on) believed; but David, and 
generatioas after him, thought that Kemosh and Dagon and the rest were real 
gods, only not the gods of Israel. Exactly what Moses' belief was we do not 
know. {p. 24.) 

"If we cannot suppose that the Pentateuch is correct history, then we do 
not know precisely what Moses did for his people . . . From all that we do 
know, we are led to believe that what Moses did waa rather to organize the 
people, and give thera an impulse in religion, than to frame any code of laws, or 
make any great change in their institutions." * 

•Quoted ttom Dr. Armstrong's "Nature and RevelatloD." 


The Harvard professor goes on to tell us that " we " know now that 
God did not give Israel the law at Sinai ; but so long as we refuse that, 
he will allow us to believe that " the people, or a part of them, may 
have stayed there awhile." Moses' part in it all, he tells us, matters 
very little. 

This is, of course, more than "down-grade:" it is near the bottom 
of the descent. Dr. Driver does not mean to laud there. We do not 
always see where the road ends, and the mercy of God may prevent such 
a catastrophe ; but there is, in fact, no practicable halting-place short 
of this. Between Dr. Toy and orthodoxy there is every degree of 
errancy, and the voices of the critics are not a little confused. It is con- 
tended that they are becoming more harmonious ; and this, no doubt, 
is true and to be expected. The stream would naturally wear for itself 
channels, within which it would be henceforth confined. Some errors 
would be too manifest to be upheld, and others be found inconsistent 
with the purpose they were used for. This unification of the critics, 
while it will enable their arguments to be more concisely dealt with, 
does not imply any bettering of their position from the Scripture stand- 
point : the fact is the reverse ; the tendency of error is to gravitate, and 
consistency necessitates ever a more complete departure from the truth. 
Thus Kuenen and Wellhausen, who are not badly represented by Prof. 
Toy, give us the latest phase of the documentary hypothesis. And it is 
striking enough to find how largely Driver builds to-day upon their 

Yet it is plain that even for him the distinction between Jehovistic 
and Elohistic documents, with which these criticisms began, is fading 
away, so that he has often had to consider the question, "Is it probable 
that there should have been two narratives of the patriarchal and Mosaic 
ages, independent, yet largely resembling each other, and that these 
narratives should have been combined together into a single whole at a 
relatively early period of the history of Israel ? " He answers, indeed, 
though with some hesitancy, that he believes it to be a fact that there 
were, "and that in some part, even if not so frequently as some critics 
have supposed, the independent sources used by the compiler are still 
more or less clearly discernible." 

The period of this compilation he gives as "approximately, in the 
eighth century B.C.," or about Hezekiah's time! But that only carries 
us a few steps in the construction of the Pentateuch. 

Deuteronomy comes next, which critics believe to be the "book of 
the law" found by Hilkiah in Josiah's day; but "how much earlier 
than B.C. 621 it may be is more diflBcult to determine. The supposition 
that Hilkiah himself was concerned in the composition of it is not 
probable; for a book compiled by the high-priest could hardly fail " — 
God, of course, being left out, — "to emphasize the interests of the priestly 
body at Jerusalem, which Deuteronomy does not do. ... It is 


probable its composition is not later than the reign of Manasseh." 
The real ^^ priestly ^^ narrative — which does, of course, look sharply 
after their interests, — came later still. It is supposed to have added 
largely to Genesis, considerably to Exodus, including all about the 
special priesthood, the entire book of Leviticus, and much of Numbei's. 
It belongs "approximately, to the time of the Babylonish captivity"! 
And now, with Ezra's revision, the Pentateuch is complete. But we 
must take notice, if we are to do justice to Dr. Driver's position, that 
he allows that there was a certain indefinable amount of tradition long 
before, and even, as we see, some written documents. The aggregate 
amount of these it is very hard to determine. 

" Although, therefore, the Priests' Code assumed finally the shape in which we 
have it in the age subsequent to Ezekiel, it rests ultimately upon an ancieut 
traditional basis, and many of the institutions prominent in it are recognized 
in various stages of their growth, by the earlier pre-exile literature, by Deuter- 
onomy and by Ezekiel. The laws of P [the priestly code], even when they 
included later elements, were still referred to Moses, — no doubt because, in its 
basis and origin, Hebrew legislation was actually derived from him, and was 
only modified gradually." 

This is how, it seems, the positive statements that "Moses spake" 
and "the Lord said to Moses" are to be interpreted. The issue is 
naturally such a romance as the following : — 

" The institution which was among the last to reach a settled state, appears 
to have been the priesthood. Till the age of Deuteronomy" — which, we must 
remember, was that of Manasseh — "the right of exercising priestly offices must 
have been enjoyed by every member of the tribe of Levi; but this right on the 
part of the tribe generally is evidently not incompatible with the pre-eminence of 
a particular family (that of Aaron : cf. Dent. x. 6), which in the line of Zadok 
held the chief rank at the Central Sanctuaiy. After the abolition of the high 
places by Josiah, however, the central priesthood refused to acknowledge the 
right which (according to the law of Deuteronomy) the Levitical priests of the 
high places must have possessed. The action of the central priesthood was in- 
dorsed by Ezekiel (xliv. Qff.): the priesthood, he declared, was, for the future, to 
be confined to the descendants of Zadok ; the priests of the high places (or their 
descendants) were condemned by him to discharge subordinate offices, as menials 
in attendance upon the worshipers. As it proved, however, the event did not 
altogether accord with Ezekiel's declaration; the descendants of Ithamar suc- 
ceeded in maintaining their right to officiate as priests by the side of the sous 
of Zadok (1 Chron. xxiv. 4, etc.), but the action of the central priesthood 
under Josiah, and the sanction given to it by Ezekiel, combined, if not to 
create, yet to accentuate the distinction of 'priests' and 'Levites.' It is 
pos.sible that those parts of P which emphasize this distinction (Num. i.-iv., 
etc.) are of later origin than the rest, and date from a time when— probably 
after a struggle with some of the disestablished Levitical priests— it was gen- 
erally accepted."* 

Think of a poor soul trying to read between the lines of his Bible 
after this fashion ! or rather, of the re vised one; for the present one, 
* Driver, Introd. pp. 146, 147. 


thank God, he cannot. Moses is thus "modified;" and God, who 
cannot be "modified," is left out, — except He is to be supposed to 
sanction this fraudulent speaking in His name! What is needed, to 
judge it all, is indeed rather conscience than learning, and here, it is 
comforting to think, the " babes " will not fare the worst. 

Even the Pentateuch is not to be suffered to remain, and Moses being 
no longer credited with its authorship, the book of Joshua can be added 
to it, and the Pentateuch becomes a Hexateuch. Here too they can 
find a Jehovist and an Elohist, a priestly writer and a Deuteronomist. 
But it is no great wonder if, according to the old belief, Joshua himself 
were the writer, — that one so long in companionship with Moses, and 
familiar with the books of the law, should use similar expressions, 
and write to some extent in the same style. That the writer was, 
in fact, a contemporary of the conquest is shown by his use of " we," 
and by his statement that Rahab was still dwelling in Israel (chap. v. 1, 
6 ; vi. 25). Of course this can be as easily declared a fraud as the con- 
stant language of the Pentateuch itself. This can be denied also with 
equal ease, — and with this advantage, that we have the whole character 
of God against it. 

But that the first five books are a real Pentateuch, we are able now 
to produce the structure of the Bible itself in proof. The five books of 
the Psalms are moulded on the Mosaic five, so that the Jews have 
named them " The Pentateuch of David." And that this is not a mere 
fancy of the Jews, but the real key to the spiritual meaning that pei-- 
vades them, will be manifest the more the more deeply we look into 
them : we cannot, of course, enter here upon the proof. 

Again : taking away from the Kethubim the historical and prophetical 
books, we have a didactic series of five, at the head of which the Psalms 
are found ; Job, Solomon's Song, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, completing 
another Pentateuch. 

The Prophets, taking the minor twelve as one book (as was done of 
old), and Lamentations as an appendix to Jeremiah, fall, then, into an- 
other series of five— another Pentateuch. Nay, the historical books, as 
we have seen, fall into still another pentateuchal series ; while the books 
of the New Testament easily divide into a similar one of Gospels, Acts, 
Pauline Epistles, Catholic Epistles, and Revelation. Thus the Penta- 
teuch is the basis and model of the whole of Scripture. 

Nor is this merely a form : on the contrary, the form but clothes and 
manifests the spirit that dwells in it. The spiritual meaning which the 
higher criticism ignores and would destroy, and which the apostle 
teaches us to find in the fullest way in the Old-Testament history, — 
which gives us the New Testament in the Old, prophecy in history, the 
divine seal everywhere upon its perfection, — confirms all this, and glori- 
fies it. According to it, Joshua is not a continuation of the first series, 
but the beginning of a second. It is a true Genesis of the after-history. 


and spiritually a new beginning, Deuteronomy having carried us beyond 
the wilderness, and, in principle, to the judgment-seat of Christ. 

The numerical structure, of which this pentateuchal one is only a 
part, is indeed the key to the true higher criticism ; only that one would 
not employ a term which implies the subjecting of the Word of God to 
the mere mind of fallen man. Faith's part it is to learn humbly from 
God, when once it realizes that it has to do with Him, "While at the 
same time it purges the eye, not blinds it, — opens, not sets aside the 
understanding. Scripture itself, as the destructive criticism understands 
it, is not any more that which displays the Mind of all other mind, than 
is Nature under the withering blight of Dai-winian evolution. " God in 
every thing" means wisdom in everything. God thrust into the distance 
means the glorious Sun dwindled to a petty star. However much you 
may argue about its being in itself as bright as ever, it has no longer 
power to prevent the earth becoming a lifeless mass, whirled senselessly 
in a frozen orbit. The very law to which you may still vaunt its sub- 
jection is that which now surely condemns it to eternal darkness. 

Against all this, the pentateuchal structure of the Bible utters em- 
phatic protest. It is no mere arbitrary thing, then, but, like all that is 
divine, has a voice for us, — a voice which is of infinite sweetness and 
comfort also. For this number 5, which, as I have shown elsewhere,* is 
the rest-note of music, as well as the measure of its expansion, is that in 
which, as we have seen, man in his frailty is found in relation to the 
Almighty God. And while this implies responsibility on his part, and 
ways of divine government which may be to His creature 

"Dark with excessive bright," 
and may give him exercise most needful, and fill him with apprehension 
too, yet it is that in which alone all blessing is, and to which Christ, 
in the wondrous mystery of His person, gives only adequate expression. 
Not only the divine seal is thus put upon all Scripture, but Christ is 
Himself that seal, from first to last the one Name that Scripture utters, 
— the assurance to us of an infinite joy with which we may face the 
history of the past, the mystery of the future. The book is in the hands 
of the Lamb slain ; it is His ; He is its interpreter and fulfillment both. 
With the chorus of the ages we say and sing, Worthy art Thou to 
take it I 

The Covenant-History. 

The books of the Covenant-History are the second great division of the 
Old Testament. The covenant itself is of course the Law, but not as at 
first given — pure law, under which it was not possible for them, as it is 
not for any, to abide for a moment. Before they had received it as 
written by God upon the tables for them, it was deliberately broken ; 
and those tables never came into the camp. But the purpose of the law 
* " Spiritual Law In the Natural World." p. 76. 


could net be fulfilled in this brief trial of it. Man may readily own, " If 
Thou art extreme to mark what we have done amiss, O Lord, who may 
abide? " It is another thing to give up legal righteousness altogether, — 
to say with Job, when no outward evil has been proved, "I abhor my- 
self, ^^ or with the prophet, ''All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." 
For this, there needs much searching out, and the second giving of the 
law was designed to do this. Dispensatioually, it was designed to show 
that man was not only " ungodly," but " without strength." (Rom. v. 6.) 
The cross closed with the proof of a still more terrible indictment, that 
"the mind of the flesh is enmity against God." (Rom. viii. 7, E.V.) 

As given the second time, the law in its proclamation of mercy and 
forgiveness allowed the trial to go on for many generations ; and the 
divine long-suffering thus shown, with the interposition again and again 
of effectual help, only made it a more complete "ministration of death" 
and "of condemnation." (2 Cor. iii. 7, 9.) By it, it was to be absolutely 
settled, that man could not, upon any conditional footing of his own 
works, stand before God. Thus the law itself decides that justification 
must be, if at all, "without the deeds of the law." (Rom. iii. 28.) 

Here, then, we may see the first meaning of these historical books; 
we might entitle them " The Covenant in Progress,'''' or equally, according 
to the numerical stamp, " The Testimony of the Law^ We have seen 
fiilly already, and especially from the last part of Deuteronomy, that 
the conclusion is a foregone one. None the less did it need to be worked 
out, since man would not credit God's testimony, but must prove for 
himself if God be true. And who can say that the lesson has respect to 
man alone, knowing as we do the unseen principalities and powers 
under whose eyes we live, and the interest that they have in these dis- 
closures? In both ways, it was needful that questions such as these 
should find their answer, not privately only in the individual conscience, 
but written broadly on the face of the world in the public history of the 
nations of the earth. 

For this to be fully done, Israel is put into the most favorable position 
possible for the trial. The conditions of the experiment are carefully 
attended to. Brought out from Egypt, from the hard bond-service there, 
they are made to recognize in their Deliverer the Almighty, the God of 
their fathers — the faithful, unchangeable Jehovah. They have not by 
searching out to find Him : He is demonstrated to their ears and eyes 
and hearts. The pillar of cloud and fire leads them. The sea divides 
to give them passage through. The manna sustains, the water from the 
rock revives them. The discipline of His hand makes them to realize 
no less His inflexible holiness. The law, on the one hand, showers upon 
them without stint the blessings of obedience ; while it curses the diso- 
bedient with equal severity. Yet it is only deliberate and willful trans- 
gression that is so cursed : if God cannot clear the guilty, He can yet 
show Himself " merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in 


goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and 
transgression and sin." (Ex, xxxiv. 6, 7.) 

And now they are afresh to know Him in this double character, as 
brought into a land "the glory of all lands," to replace a people cast out 
for their sins, and upon whom their own hands inflict the sentence of 
God for their destruction. Joshua shows us thus the final conditions of 
the experiment carried out. The new beginning is fairly accomplished. 
Every book that follows carries us on one step toward the foreshown 

But the typical meaning carries this further, as it makes of Israel's 
history the shadow of the history of another people, chosen of God as 
Israel, but with a higher destiny, — heavenly, not earthly ; but whose 
failure is therefore only so much the more signal, so much the more dis- 
astrous. The Church of God, upon another plane, shows that "history 
repeats itself," as has been truly said, because each generation of men is 
but what the generation before was: "As in water face answereth to 
face, so the heart of man to man." Yet, though true, that is no suflBcient 
account of the parallel, extraordinary as it is, between Israel's history 
and our own. It is impossible to account for it, except as we see the 
hand of God over all, shaping events and inspiring their chroniclers, and 
realize to what an extent it is true that "all these things happened unto 
them for types, and ai"e written for our admonition, upon whom the ends 
of the ages are come." (1 Cor. x. 11.) It may be difficult to follow this 
far into detail, yet what an interest must it give to these old records 
when we in any measure are enabled to see their prophetic character ! 
Certainly we can neither have read history or Scripture with any right 
understanding except we have realized that the Church, no less than 
Israel, has had its Babylonish captivity and its partial return. This 
should prepare us to see more, and to seek with intelligence of what is 
before us. 

Let us look briefly at the books individually now. 

1. Joshua. 

Joshua shows us, first of all, the new beginning : the power of God 
working for the people, on the whole obedient, to give them the land of 
promise; and the throne established in what is now the manifest kingdom of 
God upon earth. 

The sovereignty of God is strongly aflirmed in the first chapter ; the 
law being His expressed will, in subjection to which they find strength 
and victory. By His power, Jordan is cut off, and entrance into the 
land given them over its dried-up bed. By His power alone, the walls 
of Jericho fall down. The failure of the people causes hindrance till the 
cause is judged; then the enemy is overthrown, the law is formally pro- 
claimed at Ebal, and the tide of conquest rolls through the land. The 
tribes are apportioned by lot, and the tent of meeting is established at 


Typically, we have in Canaan the heavenly things which are ours, 
and the bringing in of a heavenly people into their inheritance. It is the 
beginning of the kingdom of heaven upon earth, not seen in its earth- 
history, but in the position and portion of its heirs, which Christ's 
power has made ours, and we are called by faith to enter into and 

2. Judges. 

Judges, in contrast with Joshua, begins the proper history of the peo- 
ple- in disobedience, alliance made with the Canaanites, a breach with 
God. Hence soon division among the people and servitude to their 
enemies, with deliverances when they turn to God. 

Typically, all this is easily read in its application to the heavenly 
people, who have here certainly repeated Israel's history. 

The little book of Euth, as supplementary to this, shows us the One 
to whom alone we can look to restore the inheritance, whether Jewish 
or Christian. For the Jew, how significant this famine in the laud, the 
departure into Moab of the house of Elimelech ("My God is King"), 
"Naomi" changed to "Mara" — the return in sorrow, Ruth the Moab- 
itess, the representative of Israel, now a stranger, and under the ban of 
law, yet united in grace to Boaz ("In Him is strength"), and thus secur- 
ing the inheritance. 

This, indeed, is a secret for faith ; and for the Church too there must 
be the same grace, the same Kinsman-Redeemer, through whom the 
inheritance she has so failed to possess herself of shall be made good to 
her at last. 

S. Kings. 

Kings, as we have said, includes Samuel as its first book ; Samuel and 
Kings being always, as in the old Hebrew Bibles, but one book each. 
They give us, of course, the times of the kingdom, — that is, of God's 
kingdom in the hands of man; David and Solomon, a double picture of 
the true King. With this, the history of the sanctuary, Jehovah's 
dwelling-place in the midst, which is restored by David, built up into a 
temple by Solomon, lost utterly by Israel under Zedekiah. Samuel 
shows at the beginning, through the failure of the priesthood, one Icha- 
bod period ; Kings, at the end, through the failure of David's line, a 
worse Ichabod still. 

Thus the sanctuary, as the dwelling-place of the supreme King, gov- 
erns, as one may say, in these books; and in accordance with this, 
another quite characteristic feature is the appearance of the prophet. 
Samuel the prophet, as we know, anoints both Saul and David ; and, 
whenever a king is anointed outside of the regular line, it is by a 
prophet. The prophet thus gives out the word of the Throne, and often 
in opposition to priest and king alike, the more distinctly, the more 
decline and apostasy prevail. 

The King fully after God's own heart is One in whom are united all 


the three. He is the Prophet, Priest, and Kiug. David represents Him 
in this respect more flilly than any other. He sets in order the priest- 
hood, and in his linen ephod dances before the ark, "The Spirit of the 
Lord," he says, "spake through me, and His word was in my tongue." 
(2 Sam. xxiii. 2.) But it was not yet a threefold cord that cannot be 
broken ; sepai'ately, all fail, with all that depends upon them : they are 
but shadows of what shall be, when "He shall come whose right it is." 

Thus the books of the Kings show us a resurrection-period in Israel, 
a work of divine power which lifts them as a nation into wonderful 
prosperity and power. Yet it fails, because not yet has the breath of 
God come into it, as it will in the day of which Ezekiel prophesies. 
(Ezek. xxxvii.) Like one of those in old time, brought up fi-om death, 
yet again to succuinb to it, the nation passes fi-om her brief period of 
glory into disruption and decay ; and this is only a still stronger witness 
that the law is a ministration of death, and not of life. 

Jf. The Books of the Captivity. 

The Captivity-Books are three in number — Ezra, Nehemiah, and 
Esther. We have in them no more the history of a nation, but of a 
fragment of one ; and the history itself is a fragment. The return from 
Babylon is scarcely even a revival : they rebuild in tears over what they 
are rebuilding. The new temple has no ark, no Urim, no glory, as once: 
it is an empty building, which is to receive no inhabitant as yet: a 
witness to them of the sentence of Lo-Ammi ("Not My people") under 
which still they are. Alas ! they too, as the Lord told them, were but 
an empty house, though they would now sweep and garnish it with the 
new Pharisaism soon to arise, to resist the sentence of condemnation 
which God was writing upon them. 

The three books have, of course, each a distinct meaning. 

Ezra shows us the temple rebuilt, God acting still as Sovereign over 
the earth, but simply swaying the minds of the Gentile rulers under 
which they are, to show them favor. And to the remnant returned 
Ezra preaches repentance, as already repeating their fathers' sins in 
mingling with the idolatrous nations round about. 

Nehemiah restores the city by building its wall and encouraging peo- 
ple to inhabit it. His work is that of demarkation, separation, and de- 
fense. But he is in continual conflict, and with those within as well as 

This closes the sketch of the returned remnant : in Esther, we are 
among those not returned. The character of the book appears in the 
fact that it is the only book in Scripture (except the allegory of Solo- 
mon's Song) in which the name of God is not found. Yet His providen- 
tial care of the people with whom He cannot openly associate Himself 
is very plain. As to its numerical place, I believe this is given by the 
clear manifestation of their condition in this very way. In its typical 
or allegorical aspect, on the other hand, it looks on to the ftiture, and 


prophesies the resurrectiou of the people : the Jewish bride displaces the 
Gentile, and the Jewish Mordecai, like another Joseph, is exalted to the 
power of the throne ; the enemies of Israel are defeated and overthrown. 
This will suffice for the present as to the Captivity -Books ; but one 
other historical book remains : — 

5. Chronicles. 

This, which is, like Samuel and Kings, but one book properly, is 
plainly the Deuteronomy of this division. As Deuteronomy rehearses 
Israel's ways with God in the wilderness, and correspondingly God's 
ways with them, so Chronicles rehearses, in a disguised manner, (in the 
genealogies,) history from the beginning, and openly the chief part of 
that of the books of the Kings. The purpose of enforcing obedience as 
the way of blessing is most evident. Keil says, — 

"Now from these and other descriptions of the part the Levites played in 
events, and the share they took in assisting the efforts of pious kings to revivify 
and maintain the temple worship, the conclusion has been rightly drawn that 
the chronicler describes with special interest the fostering of the Levite worehip 
according to the precepts of the law of Moses, and holds it up to his contempo- 
raries for earnest imitation ; yet . . . the chronicler does not desire to bring 
honor to the Levite and to the temple worship : his object is rather to draw 
from the history of the kingship in Israel a proof that faithful adherence to the 
covenant which the Lord had made with Israel brings happiness and blessing ; 
the forsaking of it, on the contrary, brings ruin and a cui-se." 

The special insistence on the sanctuary worship in Chronicles is not 
strange in connection with that view of Kings which has been taken, 
that the history of the Kings was in fact that of the sanctuary, a view 
which in its obvious relation to it the book of Chronicles so entirely 
confirms. And this notice may for the present suffice, until we have 
before us the books themselves. 

The Dispensational Purpose op Israel's Separation 
FROM THE Nations. 

Much has been written upon the dispensational purpose of Israel's call 
and separation from the Gentile world. If our inquiry is to be answered 
fi'om the Word of God, that answer may in part be readily found. A 
full reply it would of course be useless to pretend to give, when it is still 
true that, as to any thing, "we know in part." And especially in His 
governmental dealings with the nations is it true that " clouds and dark- 
ness are round about Him," while we must remember what the psalmist 
connects immediately with this, that "righteousness and judgment are 
the foundation of His throne." (Ps. xcvii. 2, B.V.) 

But in order to a right inquiry, we must have rightly stated the facts 
about which we inquire, and the survey must be sufficiently wide also 
to put them in their proper setting. 

If in the historical books before us we are to contemplate Israel as 
the chosen people of the Lord, shut off by peculiar institutions from the 


nations round about, we must remember that when in the year 1451 B.C. 
they crossed the dry bed of Jordan, the world was already, according to 
the common chronology, over twenty-five centuries old. The book of 
Genesis, which gives the birth of the nation, speaks briefly of these pre- 
ceding ages, but with sufficient clearness to let us know that God, as the 
Creator-Father of all men, had not hidden Himself fi-om His creatures, 
but that (as the apostle says of the Gentiles,) they, "when they knew 
God, glorified Him not as God;" "they did not like to retain God in 
their knowledge:" "they became vain in their imaginations, and their 
foolish heart was darkened." Thus came heathenism, and the dark 
forms of idolatry, — not as men so often blasphemously feign, out of 
honest efforts to find God, when He had left them without witness, but 
from their having "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an 
image like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, 
and creeping things." (Rom. i. 21, 23, 28.) 

From these corrupting influences God separated a people to Himself, 
but in doing this made Himself known decisively in a public testimony 
that should reach far and wide. Egypt was at once the chief centre of 
civilization, and the country ftillest of bestial gods; and there God 
manifested Himself in judgments that humbled at the same time their 
monarch and multitudinous deities. "In very deed have I raised thee 
up for this," He says to Pharaoh, "that I might show by thee My power, 
and that My name may be declared in all the earth." "And upon all 
the gods of the Egyptians I will execute judgment," He says elsewhere 
to Moses. When the crowning blow fell at the Red Sea, the song of 
triumph speaks of its wide effect upon the countries toward which their 
faces were now set. The forty years' wanderings in the wilderness 
abounded in signs and wonders by which not Israel alone, but the 
nations also, were made to realize the presence of God. Then came the 
conquest of Gilead and Bashan, the prophecy of Balaam, the destruction 
of the Midianites; and after this long threatening of judgment, its exe- 
cution upon the nations of Canaan, whose iniquity was now full, and 
the abominations of their worship a chief part of their iniquity. 

Thus, when God took Israel to Himself, He proclaimed to the world 
His power and greatness, In contrast with the nothingness of all false 
gods. The land in which He placed them lay in the midst of the civil- 
ized world. Assyria, Babylon, Persia, lay north and east; Egypt, 
south-west; Sidon and Tyre, upon the coast-line of Palestme, were the 
traders with Greece and the whole Mediterranean coast. Placed in such 
a land, God's sanctuary, if men sought it, was in no obscure hiding-place, 
but on the intersection of well-known routes of travel, uniting the 
countries of the ancient world. 

The sanctuary-door stood open. The presence of the stranger in the 
land was anticipated and provided for, as we have seen ; and he, if he 
were needy, found his need cared for in Jehovah's land. If he and his 


were circumcised, he could sit down with them at their most sacred 
feasts. Rahab, the Canaanitess, with all her family, part of the nations 
under ban from God, could yet by faith take her place among the elect 
nation, and have her name (with Ruth afterward) in the genealogy of 
David. The barrier, it is plain, did not exist to keep out those who 
sought the God of the whole earth, and of " the spirits of all flesh " upon 
the earth. 

It is plain we must not judge of Israel's position toward the Gentiles 
by the narrowness of an after-day. If God had necessarily withdrawn 
from the abominations of heathendom. His sanctuary was still as a city 
of refuge with the ways kept clear and blazoned with welcome for those 
who fled to it. There was isolation, but not exclusion. While the 
marvels of His people's history were at once a challenge of the prevalent 
falsehoods round and a gospel for the man who sought the truth. That 
truth could not associate itself with falsehood w£is the true and profit- 
able lesson of Israel's separation. 

If now, instead of its aspect toward the generations of the Old- 
Testament times, we inquire as to the true diepensational meaning of 
Israel's call and isolation, we shall find it in that experiment of law 
which we have again and again seen that God was making in their case. 
The apostle shows us the end of it when he says (Rom. v. 6) that, " when 
we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly y 
The legal covenant, in the long trial under it, in the utter failure all 
through, permitted to come fully out at last, showed fully that this was 
man's condition ; and this was the main purpose of it, as handmaid to 
the gospel,* that the law should break down all pretension to human 
righteousness, and thus declare man's need of atonement, and of justifi- 
cation by Another's work. 

To make this clearer still, we have only to put the dispensation of 
law in its connection with the dispensations that preceded it. For the 
law was not the first of dispensations among fallen men ; and it is im- 
portant to see this, and the meaning of it. The law Avas, as a dispensa- 
tion, neither primal nor universal. That it was simply with Israel is 
declared fully in connection with the words of the tables, the ten com- 
mandments (Ex. xxxiv. 27, 28): "Write thou these words," says Jeho- 
vah to Moses; "for after the purport of these words I have made a 
covenant with thee and with Israel ; . . . and he wrote upon the 
table the words of the covenant, the ten words. ''^ The first commandment 
accordingly declares, "I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of 
the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." The fifth command- 
ment in the same, speaking directly to Israel, bids, "Honor thy father 
and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land that Jehovah 
thy God giveth thee." Such words imply the covenant to be ex- 
clusively with Israel. 

If the end of the law is admitted, this will be seen as in full consist- 


ency with it. "Whatsoever the law saith," wi'ites the apostle, " it saith 
unto them that are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, 
and all the world become guilty before God." (Rom. iii. 19.) This does 
not mean, as it might at first seem, that all the world was under the law. 
He had stated the opposite. The heathen Gentile he had characterized 
as "without law" (chap. ii. 12, 14) — "a law" merely "to themselves," 
which is the opposite of being under it from God. Their sins were open 
and undeniable. He turns then to the Jew (ii. 17): "But if," he says, 
" thou bearest the name of a Jew, and restest upon the law, and gloriest 
in God, and knowest His will, and approvest the things that are excel- 
lent, being instructed out of the law." (B.V.) He goes on to convict him 
by his own conscience : why, the very Gentiles blasphemed the name of 
his God on account of the wickedness of the Jew. He then appeals to 
the verdict of the law. What had been said with regard to those under 
it ? Then come the quotations — " There is none righteous, — no, not one," 
and so on. " Now," is his comment upon it, " we know that whatsoever 
the law saith, it saith unto them that are under the law, that every mouth 
may be stopped." The Gentile's mouth is stopped already: "You," he 
says, "you, who are no heathen, — you, the professing people of God, — 
yours is now stopped also : every mouth is stopped ; the whole world is 

Apart from this, if indeed " as in water face answereth to face, so the 
heart of man to man," then it is evident that an experiment with one 
nation is as good as with the whole race, and proves the same as to the 
whole race. Nay, a small experiment, if sufficient, is better than a large 
one. It is more manageable: its issue can be brought more completely 
under the eye, and so be more completely demonstrated. We have seen 
how in the land of Israel God chose a theatre before the eyes of all, and 
thus the world would be more completely convicted, strange to say, by 
the trial of Israel, tJian it would if the whole world tvere tried ! 

This trial was of God assuredly. The creature needed the lesson, 
and it was given. For generation after generation the gospel waited : 
the " due time " for the sacrifice which it proclaimed had not yet come. 
Till then, the typical sacrifices had their place, and faith, though it saw 
dimly in the shadow, yet saw and rejoiced. Sacrifice, though incorpo- 
rated into the legal system, was not of it, but older, dating, as we know, 
even from the gate of paradise. Abel's offering, Cain's rejection of it, 
divided men from the beginning into two classes, ever to be known by 
that test. But the world was Cain's, and not Abel's, and man's need 
had to be demonstrated to him ; spite of conscience, under terror of an 
unknown God, forcing men into the devil's dark and abominable perver- 
sions of the precious symbols of the Christ that was to come. Human 
religion is always law in some shape; God's grace he has to be humbled 
to receive. Man's thought is founded upon the dream of his own com- 
petency. He can do something that will be accepted if he cannot pay 


the full price. Hence God must enforce His claim, and the law become 
man's schoolmaster, grace only a whisper for the ear trained to receive 
it, though the father of circumcision manifestly finds righteousness by 
faith, and circumcision itself is the " seal of the righteousness of the 
faith which he had, being yet uncircumcised." (Rom. iv. 11.) 

All, then, is in fullest harmony as to the meaning of the dispensation 
of law, while all through God was the God of grace, and the heart that 
sought God found Him. 

Moreover, if the Gentile were given up in the meantime, even here 
there was to be given a needed lesson, as the apostle shows us. It was 
" when in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it 
pleased God by the foolishness of the preaching to save them that be- 
lieve." (1 Cor. i. 21.) It was in the wisdom of God, then, that the world 
should prove the value of that which it had acquired so painfully, and 
by disobedience to Him. Man had sought wisdom in self-exaltation 
that he might be as God ; and the philosopher still deems that he can 
find Him with his mind, instead of with his conscience. The world is 
full of the weird and fantastic shapes that he has thus conjured up; but 
he has no gospel until it is revealed to him, — knows neither God nor 
himself. The Greek was the typical Gentile, and was known as the 
seeker after wisdom. At Athens it was that Paul declared the "un- 
known God," 

If Jew was separated from Gentile, the Gentile too was separated 
from the Jew, for a need which in either case was a common human 
need. For the one and the other, the lesson to be learnt was, the worth- 
lessness of what he trusted in. He that thinketh himself wise in this 
world must be stripped of his wisdom, and become a fool, that he may 
be wise. He that in ignorance of the righteous character of God would 
come to Him in the filthy rags of his own righteousness must, with 
Joshua the high-priest in the prophet's vision, have the filthy garments 
taken from him, that the robe from the Father's house may cover his 
nakedness. In either case, man must be humbled to be exalted; he 
must be made poor that he may receive " durable riches." He must 
come an empty-handed sinner to receive Christ. And this is still the 
education that the world most truly needs. 

Even in Israel's shameful fall, then, from her place as the people of 
God on earth, God was still sovereign, and His purpose did not fail. In 
weakness and apparent defeat He is still Lord of all, and amid these 
almighty strength works on to its foreseen end. The cross is once for 
all the type of these ways of God. 



IITERALLY. — The new beginning : the power of God working for 
J the people, on the whole obedient, to give them the land of 
promise ; and the Throne established in what is now the manifest 
kingdom of God on earth. 

Typically. — The bringing in of a heavenly people into their inherit- 
ance. The beginning of the kingdom of heaven upon the earth ; not 
seen, however, in its earth-history, but in the position and portion of its 
heirs, which Christ's power has made our own, and we are called to 
enter into and enjoy. 

As already said, if Canaan typify, as all Christians agree, our heav- 
enly inheritance, it should be yet clear that Israel's taking possession 
here is not the figure of our entering it one by one at death, nor even 
of our glorious entrance together when Christ comes. If it were so, 
certainly the details would be to us past comprehension, and so without 
meaning ; and the warfare upon entrance (though Rev. xii. 7 should be 
taken to explain it, as has been done,) would still be inexplicable from 
the first. On the other hand, the epistle to the Ephesians, as many now 
accept, in its doctrine of our warfare with principalities and powers in 
heavenly places (Eph. vi. 12) manifestly alludes to Israel's " flesh and 
blood" warfare here, and suggests the true explanation. We are called 
now to enter in by faith into our heavenly portion, and it is here that 
Satan seeks to hinder and baflBe us, knowing well that it is only as we 
lay hold of what is ours in heaven that we can be truly pilgrims and 
strangers upon earth ; this we have had, from the earth-side of it, in 
Abraham's life : we are now to see it from the heaven-side. 

Joshua has but two main divisions, which exactly divide the book : — 

1, (Chap, i.-xii.) — The Entrance into the Land. 

2. (Chap, xiii.-xxiv.) — Its Division among the Tribes. 


The subject of the book mnst now be more fdlly considered, and in order to this 
it will be necessary to repeat some things that have been already before us, but in 
a disconnected manner. And first of all as to — 

NOTES. 29 


at the time the book of Joshua speaks of. As we have fully seen, the covenant 
according to which they now enter it, and according to which alone they have held 
it yet, was that legal covenant under which it was impossible that they, or any 
people that ever lived, could retain possession of it. Let law be ever so modified, 
it is still law ; and as such it " worketh wrath," as the apostle declares. Most 
useful and necessary for its purpose, that purpose was not to enable man to 
stand in the righteousness of a fulfil ler of it, but to give " the knowledge of 
sin." (Rom. iii. 20.) A3 a consequence, the blessing promised them in Abraham 
could not be in this way theirs, nor this covenant of law be added to the cove- 
nant of promise. The careful statement of this is in the epistle to the Galatians : 
"Brethren," says the apostle, "I speak after the manner of men : though it 
were a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannuUeth or addeih 
thereto. Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith 
not, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. 
Now this I say, a covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law, which came 
four hundred and thirty years after, doth not disannul, so as to make the promise 
of none effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise ; 
but God hath granted it to Abraham by promise." (Gal. iii. 15-18., B. V.) 

In his application of this, Paul dwells upon the Qentiles' part in the blessing of 
Abraham ; but it is of course as decisive with regard to the Jews. The covenant 
of law could not, as being of an entirely contradictory character, be added to that 
covenant with Abraham, which was pure, free promise. And the four hundred 
and thirty years between the two show their absolute distinctness. Israel, 
therefore, when they passed under Joshua into the land, were not receiving it 
according to the original promise, which remains yet to be fulfilled to them in 
all its length and breadth. And so already Moses has shown us. (Deut. xxx. 
1-3, etc.) 

Accordingly, the small dimensions of the land that they received are in com- 
plete contrast with the "goodly land and large,^^ which they are yet to enjoy, 
whose limits are only the Euphrates, the Red Sea, and the Nile. (Gen. xv. 18 ; 
Ex. xxiii. 31 ; Josh. i. 4.) The lands south and east, from which they were 
expressly excluded in Joshua's time, as Edom, Moab, and Ammon, are as 
expressly stated to belong to them at a future day. (Is. xi. 14 ; Amos ix. 12 ; 
Jer. xlix. 2.) Moreover, as now set conditionally in the land, their limits were 
not to remain in their present narrowness, but to be extended little by little, if 
only they remained faithful to their God, as in fact they did not remain. They 
shrank, thus, even within their present limits, neither the land of the Philis- 
tines, nor Sidon, nor Lebanon, being possessed by them. 

Typically, God has overruled all this for our admonition. For God has 
opened to us also the land of our inheritance, and bidden us by faith enjoy our 
portion ; the Spirit of God being come to take of the things of Christ and show 
them to us, and to make known to us the things that are freely given to us of 
God. But how little have we laid hold of ! Thank God that our final possession 
is not to be according to the narrow limits of present possession ! Israel is surely 
here our encouragement, and also our admonition. 


of which Ephesians speaks is as little apprehended by Christians in general as 
the book of Joshua in its typical meaning is, and for the same reason. Conflict 
with the flesh is considered to be, by so many, true Christian conflict, yet it is 
plain it is a conflict Christ could know nothing of, for there was in Him no sinful 
flesh. In us it is true that "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit 
against the flesh, and these are contrary one to another." (Gal. v. 17.) But the 
remedy is not in conflict, but in that which, in proportion as it is carried out in 
faith, will make conflict impossible : for we are to " reckon ourselves dead unto 
sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus." (Rom. vi. 11.) Conflict of this kind 

30 NOTES. 

Tve all, indeed, too mnch know, and Tve have had already the vivid type of it in 
Israel's with Amalek. (Ex. xvii.) True Christian conflict, however, is that 
which is presented here, with its dangers and its victories also : and we have 
need, as the apostle tells ns, of the " whole armor of God ; that we may be able 
to stand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. ' ' 

Even as against Amalek in the wilderness, we have seen Joshua as the leader. 
He who gives us possession of the heavenly things is He who gives power in the 
conflict vdth the lusts of the flesh. And Satan well knows that if he can de- 
prive us of our joy in what is ours in heaven, our lives cannot be a fitting 
witness for the Lord on earth. What, then, be the condition of those who 
know not even the meaning of the conflict ? For without the struggle, Canaan 
cannot be ours. 

These Canaanite inhabitants of the land, then, answer to the "principalities 
and powers in heavenly places" of which the apostle speaks ; but his words 
throw more light than this upon what is in the book before us, and clear up 
what would be a difficulty in understanding it. They are, he says, "the 
rulers of the darkness of this world," or, as the Revisers read it with the best 
authorities, "the world-rulers of this darkness." God is light, and darkness is 
His opposite. In this Satan works, the evil of a world which is under his 
sway, and by which he resists the work of God. Our armor, the panoply of 
God, is thus the ^^ armor of light.'''' We shall find, as we study the types of 
Joshua, that from Jericho and onward it is the power of the world that is set 
before us ; and what more effiectively blinds the children of God to heavenly 
things than the dust of the world ? 

The land into which Israel is passing over is distinctly the land of Canaan, and 
the general name for the people of the land is Canaanite, as Canaan was their 
common father. The word is derived from one which means, "to stoop," as 
most say, or, as Parkhurst, "to lay down," as a merchantman would do in 
exposing his goods. That Scripture attaches to it the meaning of " merchant " 
seems clear. Of Ephraim Hosea says (xii. 7), "He is a merchant (Canaan) ; 
balances of deceit are in his hand." And Ezekiel (xvii. 4), " He carried it into 
a land of traffic (Canaan) ; and he set it in a city of merchants. ' ' This is said gen- 
erally to be a later meaning arising from the common occupation of the Canaanite 
nations, which is not at all proved to be the fact ; while, in any case, the admitted 
identification of meaning in the prophets suggests, necessarily, spiritual inter- 
pretation all the way through. Here it is in perfect accord with the New- 
Testament application : we are to ' ' take the whole armor of God, that we may 
be able to stand against the idles of the devil." The devil's power is that of 
craft and deceit : he is the "father of lies ; " and his lies are peculiarly those of 
a trader, who oflers his worthless goods at a ruinous price. You shall have the 
world in whatever of it suits you best, as he offered to the Lord Himself all the 
glory of it, — a bait with a golden hook. 

There is one thing more to be remembered in order to read clearly the type 
here, that, while the conflict is with spiritual powers, these are in strictness only 
the leaders in it, — the "principalities," — while under their rule are found the 
men of the world as instruments through whom they work — human souls, who 
may, as Rahab, be delivered from their hand. While also the rulers themselves 
may be, and will be, often identified with, or represented by, the principles 
through which they gain and exercise dominion over their unhappy followers. 
Satan seldom openly appears as Satan ; but lust, pride, ambition, maintain 
faithfully his kingdom, and sway the minds and hearts of men. 

Div. 1. 

The first twelve chapters of the book give us, evidently, the entrance into the 
land, as the second half has for its general subject, its apiwrtionment among the 
tribes. The entrance has to be in power, in the first place, where no enemies 
can oppose. Conflict there is not until they are across the river, and in the 






DIVISION 1. (Chap, i.-xii.) 
The Entrance into the Land. 

1. AND it came to pass, after the "death of Moses the 
l\ servant of Jehovah, that Jehovah spake unto 

^ -*- 'Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' attendant, say- 
ing, Moses my servant is dead ; and now arise, go over 
this Jordan, — thou and all this people, unto the 'land 
which I give unto them, — to the children of Israel. 
''Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, 
that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 

a Deut.34.5. 
cf. Rev. 1. 

6 Ex. 24. 13. 
Ex. 32. 17. 
cf. Eph. 1. 
20, 21. 

c r/.Eph. 1. 

d Dent. 11. 
24 25. 
c/. Eph. 1. 

camp at Gilgal. And after this, they themselves begin it. So with us, Christ's 
work it is that carries us through death, and gives us our place in heaven. Then 
if the land is to be practically ours, we must conquei- it. 

There are seven subdivisions, ending with rest attained : "the land had rest 
from war." (Chap. xi. 23.) 

1. The first chapter is plainly introductory, and gives the principles which 
.govern the advance of the people into the land. 

Moses was now no longer in the midst of Israel, and the leader of the people 
is his minister Joshua. The spiritual significance of this has been already before 
us, and needs only to be briefly repeated. It is this spiritual significance found 
ill the typical meaning which alone invests the whole historj' here with its true 
interest for the child of God. We are in the midst of things which ''happened 
unto them for types" (1 Cor. x. 11, marg.) : words which justify the fullest im- 
portance that cau be given to them in this character, and magnify them in every 
detail given, amazingly Ijeyond mere historical proportions. 

Moses and Joshua, as we have elsewhere seen, both speak of Christ : Moses, 
of Christ down here in the world, living among men ; Joshua, of Christ (in 
spirit, not in person,) acting by the Holy Ghost in His people. Thus Joshua it 
is who leads into the land ; and while Moses is the " servant of the Lord," the 
picture of Jehovah's perfect Servant as given in the prophet (Is. lii. 13), Joshua 
is ' ' Moses' minister, ' ' waitiug upon and representing this pei-sonal Christ. 

The divine caU now summons the people of God to take possession of their 
inheritance, Moses' (Christ's) death being necessary to have taken place before 
the land can be opened and entered. To take possession there must be the 
energy of faith : "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread on shall be 
your own." Then come the definite limits in the meantime, which (though not 
the full final limits,) have been so narrowed in the thoughts of those who have 
taken what the people actually possessed as all that God promised them. In fact 
we are only teginning to realize that the "laud of the Hittites" itself, which 
was yet less, not more, than the land of Canaan, went up far beyond Lebanon to 
the Euphrates itself; "all" of which to the sea-coast of the Mediterranean be- 
longs to Israel by promise, and waits only faith on their part, to be made good to 
them. Keil even — an orthodox commentator, in one of the best of critical 
commentaries, — speaks of the " oratorical " character of the promise here ! May 
we, then, without sin, ascribe exaggeration to God ? What if the promise of a 
heavenly inheritance for us be equally "oratorical"? And though Israel has 
failed to lay hold of what is truly theirs, is it not simply what man has always 




From the 'wilderness and this Lebanon, as far as the 
great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the 
Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down 
of the sun, shall be your boundary. There shall not 
any man be able to •''stand before thee all the days of 
thy life : as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee ; I 
will not fail thee nor forsake thee. Be ^'strong and of 
good courage ; for thou shalt cause this people to in- 
herit the land that I sware unto their fathers to give 
them. Only be strong, and very courageous, to observe 
to do according to all the law which Moses my servant 
commanded thee: *turn not away from it to the right 
hand or to the left, that thou mayest do wisely whither- 

e Gen.15.18. 
Ps. 72. 8, 9. 

/ Deat.28.7. 
c/. Jas. 4. 7. 

g Eph. 6. 10. 
Deut. 81.7. 
lKlng8 2.2. 
2 Tim. 2. 1. 

h Deat6.82. 

In fact they are, even in their unbelief, only the more fully our types. Had 
they taken possession of all that is here promised them as theirs, it would take 
much from the exactness of the picture which we may find of ourselves in them. 
How little have we indeed "apprehended that for which we have been appre- 
hended of Christ Jesus" (Phil. iii. 12) ! And if our final possession of what is 
ours in Christ were to be limited, as we have limited Israel's, by what we have, 
any of us, laid hold of in faith now, how little would be our portion ! Thank 
God, His thoughts for ns are far above our thoughts ! 

But we cannot pretend as yet spiritually to show these boundary-lines. As 
we go on we may trust that what our inheritance is will little by little dawn on 
ns. This is the way ordinarily in which God teaches us, and we must go hum- 
bly, if we go in faith. 

Enemies there are in this path, and we need therefore the encouraging exhort- 
ation which follows. " No enemy shall be able to stand before thee, " God says to 
Joshua. And when we remember who our Leader is, it is simple that it must 
be so. Christ is the " Captain of our salvation," and in proportion as we identify 
ourselves with Him, we shall find strength given us which will. not be wanting 
for any need ; it will be not our own, but His who says, "I will not fail thee 
nor forsake thee ; " words which the apostle teaches us so to apply to ourselves 
as boldly to say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall 
do unto me." (Heb. xiii. 6.) This strength of an arm which is not our own arm 
is the sweetest kind of strength that creature can know. It is companionship, 
communion, perfect security, — all holiness in it, all wisdom. God with us 
means all that God is. 

Well He may say, therefore, " Be strong and of a good courage." And again, 
" Only be thou strong and very courageous." Just because the strength needed 
is not our own, we may be strong, and in this, honor Him who has identified 
His glory with our blessing. Courage is the virtue by which we walk according 
to His Word ; as it is added here, "that thon mayest observe to do according to 
all the law that Moses My servant commanded thee ; " and this is the condition 
of success, — " turn not thou from it to the right hand, nor to the left, that thou 
mayest do wisely whithersoever thou goest." And this is repeated with empha- 
sis in the next verse. How needful for us this absolute insistance on the Word of 
God, so prone as we are to let expediency govern in divine things, to judge by 
results instead of by principles, and to count preciseness but Pharisaism. Indeed, 
in days such as ours, when the Word of God is spread abroad, and in a certain 
way there is much inquiry into it, how few are they who honestly, according to 
their light, carry out all that they know is enjoined ! how few who have no 
questions in reserve which they dare not fully face ! how many who do not wish 
to be disturbed by inquiries of which they cannot tell where they may end ! 
Let us all — readers and writer — make it a personal question for ourselves, 
neither as ready to judge others, nor excusing ourselves by others, and a ques- 
tion entertained before Him who can answer it, — "Lord, is it I?" 

1. 8-15. 



i Ps. H9. 9. 
qr. 001.8.16. 

j Ps. 1. 2. 

I cf. Phil. 3. 
18, 14. 

m Nam. 32. 

soever thou goest. This 'book of the law shall not de- 
part out of thy mouth ; and thou shalt^ meditate therein 
day and night, that thou mayest observe to do accord- 
ing to all that is written therein ; for then thou shalt 
make thy way * prosperous, and then shalt thou do 
wisely. Have not I commanded thee ? be strong, and 
of good courage ; quake not, nor be dismayed ; for Je- 
hovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 

And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, 
saying, Pass through the midst of the camp, and com- 
mand the people, saying, ^ Prepare yourselves provisions, 
for in three days ye shall be passing over this Jordan, to 
go in to possess the land which Jehovah your God giveth 
you to possess it. And to the "* Reubenites, and to the 
Gudites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, 
saying. Remember the word that Moses the servant of 
Jehovah commanded you, saying, Jehovah your God 
hath given you rest, and hath given you this land. 
Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall 
abide in the land that Moses gave you on this side Jor- 
dan ; but all your mighty men of valor shall pass over 
in array before your brethren, and help them, until 
Jehovah have given your brethren rest as he hath you, 
and they also possess the land that Jehovah your God 
giveth them; then shall ye return unto the land of 
your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses Jehovah's 
servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrise. 

And what a grand word is this to give strength, — "Have not I commanded 
thee?" How good to bow ourselves to this yoke, and to remember that where 
God has spoken we must be either servants or rebels ; let the matter of the com- 
mand be what it may. And then again the exhortation, — not a word, be sure, 
more than is needed, " Be strong, and of a good courage ; be not afraid, nor be 
thou dismayed ; for Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." 

We have next the words of the leader himself, addressed to the people, and 
the first word is, to prepare food for themselves, for within three days they are 
to cross the river. One might think such an injunction scarcely needed, but the 
people of God undergo but too many willing fasts from spiritual food, whereby 
they are never strengthened, but weakened. The "three days" here make a 
difficulty for those whose critical wisdom these difficulties are to accredit. They 
wait for the spies who are detained three days across the river, and then take 
three days more mustering, as it would seem, before they pass over. In an 
ordinary history it would not have been necessary to invent three writers on this 
account, to make a patchwork of various accounts very indifferently put to- 
gether. It would have been said simply that Joshua had not anticipated the delay 
which in fact took place. Why not say so ? Is it necessary to accredit Joshua 
with infallibility, in order to discredit Scripture with a mistake? Let the mis- 
take be with Joshua, and it may still be no mistake with Scripture, possibly 
even some spiritual thought attaching to these "three days" three times 
repeated. Gleams of resurrection break out through all these scenes, for it is by 
resurrection-power alone that we can cross the river of death into our in- 

A special injunction is needed by the two and a half tribes, because of the 
divergence of their interests from that of the whole nation, from which they 
have in measure separated themselves. They are now to have the fighting with- 



1. 16-2. 2. 

The spies' 
the word of 

and of 

And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou 
commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou 
sendest us we will go. According as we hearkened 
unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee ; 
only Jehovah thy God be with thee as he was with 
Moses. Every man that is rebellious against thy voice, 
and hearkeneth not unto thy words in all that thou 
commandest him shall be put to death : only be strong, 
and of good courage. 
2. And Joshua the son of Nun sent out from Shittim two 
men as "spies secretly, saying, Go, view the land, even nNum.13.2. 
Jericho. And they went, and came into a harlot's house, 
whose name was Rahab, and lay thei-e. And it was told 
the king of Jericho, saying. Behold, there came in hither 

out the personal reward ; just as from the conflict with the power of Satan no 
Christian can be excused ; and yet for many it may not have its true significance. 

Nevertheless, even from these, in the flood-tide of present enthusiasm, there 
comes back an encouraging response. And that it is not mere excitement Josliua 
would surely realize, as their answer re-echoes the Lord's words. "We will 
hearken to thee as unto Moses," is their reply : "Jehovah be with thee, as He 
was with Moses ; . . . only be strong and of a good courage." 

2. We have now in Rahab's story, very plainly, the testimony of salvation, 
and the answer of faith. Joshua sends spies across Jordan to "view the land, 
even Jericho. ' ' Jericho, at the entrance of the land, presents the opposition of 
the enemy in those cities walled up to heaven which Israel before had spoken of 
so despairingly. But the power of the enemy, as we have seen, acts through 
the world, which, as darkness, opposes the light, in which is the inheritance of 
the saints. (Col. i. 12.) Jericho, at the entrance of Canaan, and significantly 
close by Jordan, the river of death, is the world, upon which faith must, as it 
were, execute the judgment of God before we can possess ourselves of our 
heavenly portion. 

The story of Rahab, with its New-Testament comments, is so plain in its 
meaning that this is recognized by all who see any spiritual meaning in these 
histories at all. " Rahab " means "enlargement." As the psalmist says, " Thou 
hast set my feet in a large room," so could this Canaanitish woman say. Not in 
figure merely, but in fact, she is a sinner saved from impending judgment. One 
of those nations upon whom, as having filled up the measure of their iniquities, 
the curse was already pronounced ; among these a harlot, sinner among sinners ; 
she is a witness that from whatever "end of the earth " a soul looks to God, 
there is salvation for it. And how beautiful to see that in such a case as this it 
is, where the lesson is one so needful beyond all others, the vail, elsewhere 
maintained, drops almost altogether, and fact and type come together as one ! 

But why does the story of Rahab occur just here? 

In relation to the literal history it showed that even the doomed Canaauites, 
according to a principle openly announced by the prophet afterward (Jer. xviii. 
7, 8), might have escaped their doom, by such a repentance and turning to God 
as was found in Rahab. It was a gospel of fad for all and every nation, before 
a gospel of words there could be. 

In relation to the typical meaning, it shows that if, on the one hand, Christi- 
anity proclaims, as it does, the judgment of the world, it has, on the other hand, 
its assurance of goodwill and blessing for all who out of this world turn to God. 

It may seem, in some sense, a turning aside from the line of things before us 
here ; but God is always ready to turn aside for .such a purpose ; or rather would 
show us that such a thing as this is never foreign to His purpose, as it is never 
absent from His heart. 

2. 3-10. JOSHUA. 

to-night men of the children of Israel to search out the 
land. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, 
Bring forth the men that are come unto thee, that are 
entered into thy house ; for they are come to search out 
all the land. Now the woman had taken the two men, 
and "hidden them; and she said, True: the men did 
come unto me, but I knew not whence they were ; and 
it came to pass, when the gate was to be shut at dark, 
that the men went out : whither the men went I know 
not ; ^pursue them quickly, that ye may overtake them. 
But she had taken them up to the roof, and hid them 
with the stalks of flax which she had arranged upon the 
roof. And the men pursued after them, the Jordan 
way, unto the fords ; and when they who were pursu- 
ing after them had gone out, they shut the gate. 

And before they were lain down, she went up to them 
upon the roof, and said unto the men, I 'know that Je- 
hovah hath given you the land, and that the ' dread of 
you is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the 
land faint because of you. For we have heard how 
Jehovah 'dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you 
when ye came out of Egypt; also what ye did to the 
two 'kings of the Amorites, which were on the other 
side of Jordan, — to Sihon and Og, whom ye destroyed 


o Ex. 1. 19. 
Jas. 2. 25. 

p 2 Sam.17. 

q cf. 1 Sam. 
25. 29, 30. 

r Gen. 35. 5. 
Ex. 15. 14, 

«Ex. 14.21, 

t Num. 21. 
Ps. 136. 13- 

"Jericho" means "fragrance;" and such is the world to the men of it, 
though it lies, as they own, too near the river of death. Indeed, though the 
earth be full of the Lord's mercies, and there is abundant testimony iu it to the 
Creator-God, yet death is never out of view, and judgment lies the other side of 
death, as Israel's camp lay beyond Jordan. God is for its inhabitants in the 
enemy's camp, and how are they to distinguish Him from the enemy ? nay, is 
He not the One upon whom all the power of the enemy depends ? Yes, that is 
plain ; and the hearts of the men of Jericho sink as they realize it. Alas, faint 
hearts may yet make stubborn resistance, and the power of sin and Satan is 
nowhere more fiilly seen than here. Where God is seen but as an enemy, and 
His judgment against sin treated but as an enemy's act, the soul hardens itself 
against Him, and would rid itself of the presence of those who are His people, 
and identified with the hated truth. The king of Jericho sends to apprehend 
those whom faith in Eahab welcomes as the means of deliverance. Yet they 
stand in the same relationship to her as to them ; but faith argues, must there 
not be good in God ? and there is the germ of repentance also, for if there be 
good in God realized, we must be with Him against ourselves. 

Eahab hides the spies therefore, identifying herself at her own personal risk 
with those who are the people of Gk)d. Her works justify her as a believer, 
show by their character that she has faith, which is what James speaks of ; not 
justify her as righteousness before God, which is what Paul denies absolutely as 
to Abraham. (Rom. iv. 2.) The harlot Rahab has no righteousness to trust in, 
no moral character to commend her to God. But she has the faith of a poor 
sinner that clings to Him ; and that faith, as all true faith will, manifests itself 
as living and real, spite of her lying to the king of Jericho's messengers, in 
which we see at once her faith and the weakness of it. 

Rahab's confession of God, and where He is, is full and clear : " Jehovah your 
God, He is God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath." And then she puts 
in her prayer for mercy, in which she includes all her father's house. And good 
it is to see how promptly and confidently the men of Israel are able to pledge 
themselves to the fullest extent that faith can ask. Theirs is no may-be gospel, 



2. 11-21. 

under ban. We heard, and our hearts "melted, and 
there remained no spirit any more in any man because 
of you; for Jehovah your God, he is God in heaven 
above and in earth beneath. And now, I pray you, 
swear to me by Jehovah, since I have dealt kindly with 
you, that ye also will deal kindly with my "father's 
house, and give me a true "* token; and that ye will 
save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, 
and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our 
lives from death. And the men said unto her, "^Our 
lives for yours, if ye utter not this our business : and it 
shall be, when Jehovah giveth us the land, that we will 
deal "kindly and truly with thee. Then she let them 
down by a 'cord through the window; for her house 
was on the city -wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. 
And she said unto them, get you to the mountain, lest 
the pursuers light upon you ; and hide yourselves there 
three days, until the pursuers be returned ; and after- 
ward ye can go your way. 

And the men said unto her, We will be blameless as 
to this oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, 
when we are come into the land, thou shalt bind in the 
window this line of "scarlet thread by which thou hast 
let us down. And thou shalt gather unto thee in the 
house thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, 
and all thy father's house ; and it shall be, that whoso- 
ever shall 'go out of the doors of thy house into the 
street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we shall be 
blameless ; and every one that shall be with thee in the 
house, his blood shall be upon our head if hand be upon 
him. And if thou utter this our business, then we will 
be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us swear. 
And she said, According to your words, so be it. And 
she sent them away, and they departed ; and she "bound 
the scarlet line in the window. 

u ch. 5. 1. 

V Gten.10.12. 
w Ex. 12.18. 

X cf. Heb.6. 

y Geu.24.4». 

z 1 Sam. 19. 
Acts 9. 25. 


6 ef. Ex. 12. 

Col. 1. 23. 
Heb. 8. 6. 

c ver. 13, 18. 

but positive enough to give confidence to a soul in need. And such is the gospel 
of God to-day : it is a gospel the reception of which gives peace to the soul. It 
is not yea and nay, but yea. For if "blessed are all they that put their trust in 
Him," self need not occupy or terrify me : the object of faith it cannot be. I 
am free to rest all upon a Saviour, and then not confidence is presumption, but 
the lack of confidence. 

But Rahab wants a "token," and the spies are able to give her that. The 
line of scarlet thread by which she lets them down out of the window is bound 
in the window as a sign, not to herself of couree, but to the messengers of judg- 
ment when they come, that judgment is not to fall upon any in that sheltered 
house. "What has been the means of their own deliverance they give to her as 
hers ; and the likeness to the blood-sheltered houses in the night of the passover 
is at once evident. The "scarlet" was in fact the blood of an insect (vol. i. 
p. 487, n.) the "worm" of Ps. xxii., and in this way how plain the reference 
to the Lord ! There is but one thing that can secure the sinner in the day of 
judgment, and of that God gives us many assurances. 

Still Rahab has another witness for her, and without this the scarlet line would 
be of no avail, — a living witness — two being, as we know, sufficient testimony — 

2. 22-3. 2, 



the river of 
death, to 

1. (Hi.) The 
ark of the 
Lord in its 


And they went, and came unto the mountain, and 
abode there three days, until the pursuers were re- 
turned ; and the pursuers sought them throughout all 
the way, and found them not. And the two men re- 
turned, and descended fi'om the mountain, and passed 
over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him 
all that had befallen them. And they said unto Joshua, 
Truly Jehovah hath delivered all the land into our 
hands ; and all the inhabitants of the land even '' faint 
because of us. 


3. ^And Joshua arose 'early in the morning; and they 
removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, — he and 
all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they 
passed over. And it came to pass at the end of ^ three 

d ver, 9. 

e Qen. 22. 3 
oh. 6. 12. 
ch. 7. 18. 
ch. 8. 10. 

/ ch. 1. 11. 

in the camp of Israel. And this has its meaning for us : Christ risen from the 
dead is the living Witness for us before God. What would His death for us have 
been but the direst calamity, apart from resurrection ? And thus if the apostle 
speaks of our " being justified by His blood " (Rom. v. 9), he no less si)eaks of 
Him as being "raised from the dead for our justification" (iv. 25). If His 
death be, as it were, Christ for us, His resurrection is God for us ; and thus we 
" believe on Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead " (24), for this is 
what characterizes Him toward us as a Saviour-Grod. That the men tarry three 
days before they cross the river may be a further hint of this very thing. 

3. We now come to another most impressive type of resurrection, most evident 
surely as this, the passage of the people through Jordan into the land. Our 
thoughts are necessarily carried back to the similar passage through the Eed Sea 
which lay at the beginning of their wilderness-journey as this at the end of it, 
and of which it is thus, as it were, the completion. And so the history itselif 
presents it, for when they have come to Gilgal Jehovah says to them, " This day 
have I caused the reproach of Egypt to pass from you ; " and as then it was said 
that the "hosts of Jehovah went out of the land of Egypt," so at Gilgal the 
angel of Jeho\ah comes as Captain of Jehovah's host. 

We shall find help, then, surely, in comparing these two passages, the one, the 
departure from Egypt and the entrance into the wilderness; the other, the 
departure from the wilderness and the entrance into Canaan. The wilderness 
was but necessary discipline by the way ; the land is the end of the way, 
and rest. 

We have already looked at the passage of the Sea, and found in it the vivid 
representation of the truth in Romans, that as dead with Christ we are dead to 
sin and to law. It is the backward glance at what we are brought out from; and 
resurrection with Christ, though implied, is not dwelt on. This is exactly the 
case in Romans : we have just suggested the " newness of life," " the likeness of 
His resurrection " in which we are called to walk ; but we must go on to Coloa- 
sians to find "risen with Christ " put in direct antithesis to '' dead with Christ." 
Ephesians carries us on still further to "seated together in Him in heavenly 
places," and the side of truth in Romans, "dead with Christ," is now omitted. 
The New Testament, like the Old, takes these things, ds it were, apart, that we 
may consider them better. 

Resurrection with Christ is at Jordan very strikingly shown forth, but our 
being dead with Christ is not omitted ; we go on also, as in Ephesians, into the 
land. Thus the whole truth is put together here. 

We must examine it, however, now in detail. 

(i.) Strikingly and beautifully, in the first place, we have the ark of the Lord 
put in its unique place, as that which alone does the work, and manifesta it3 



3. 3-13. 

days that the officers went through the camp ; and they 
charged the people, saying, When ye see the "ark of 
the covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests the 
Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your 
place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a "space 
between you and it of about two thousand cubits by 
measure : come not near unto it, that ye may know the 
way by which ye go ; for ye have not gone this way 
heretofore. And Joshua said unto the people, * Sanctify 
yourselves ; for to-morrow will Jehovah do wonders 
among you. And Joshua spake unto the priests, say- 
ing, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over 
before the people. And they took up the ark of the 
covenant, and went before the people. And Jehovah 
said vmto Joshua, •'This day will I begin to magnify 
thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that 
as I was with * Moses, so will I be with thee. And thou 
shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the cov- 
enant, saying. When ye are come to the brink of the 
waters of Jordan, ye shall 'stand still in Jordan. And 
Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, 
and hear the words of Jehovah your God. And Joshua 
said, Hereby shall ye know that the living God is 
among you, and that he will without fail dispossess from 
before you the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the 
Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the 
Amorite, and the Jebusite. Behold, the ark of the 
covenant of the "* Lord of all the earth passeth before 
you into Jordan. And now take you twelve men out 
of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. And 
it shall be, when the soles of the feet of the priests that 
bear the ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, shall 
rest in the waters of Jordan, the waters of Jordan, even 
the waters that come down from above, shall be " cut 
off, and stand in a heap. 

Num. 10. 

c/. lCor.l5. 
Heb. 6.20. 

h cf. 1 Cor. 
15. 20-23. 

I Ex. 19. 10. 


i ch. 4. 14. 
cf. Phil. 2. 

k ch. 1. 17. 
2 Kings 2. 
cf. Jno. 16. 


I cf. Juo.lO. 

m Gen. 14. 
Ps. 24. 1. 

n cf. Eom. 
8. 1 with 
Ps. 22. 1. 

power in behalf of the people. This is jealously maintained. Two thousand 
cubits separate between it, and thcsethat walk in the track it opens. This two 
thousand is, of course, 2x 10^, and may speak to us oi realized capacity for salva- 
tion : this is indeed the impassable distance between the cross aud all that would 
seem to approach it. Let us remember what this ark is : that it not merely 
represents the throne of the Lord, but that it carries the blood-sj^riukled mercy- 
seat, — that it is the throne of grace founded on propitiation. How necessary 
to maintain in its full breadth this separation between that peerless work aud all 
else ! How else should we know the way by which we should go ? 

And now Joshua is to be honored in the sight of all Israel, and it is to be 
shown that God is with him. The link is plain enough spiritually ; the living 
Christ glorified in what His death accomplishes. All enemies must give way 
when God manifests Himself for Christ, in behalf of His people. Seven nations 
here exhibit the complete power of the enemy, only to show the power of the 
Lord supreme above it. 

The ark too is the throne of the " Lord of all the earth." We have seen that 
Satan acts through the power of the world to hinder our entrance into the 
heavenly portion. But though he has usurped power over the world through 

3. 14-4. 6. 



2. (iv. 1-18.) 


stoues : 
"dead with 
Christ" lu 
His death. 

Aiid it was so, that when the people removed ft-om 
their tents, to pass over Jordan, the priests that bare 
the ark of the covenant being before the people, and 
when they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, 
and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped 
in the edge of the water, — and Jordan " overfloweth all 
its banks all the days of harvest, — the waters that came 
down from above stood [and] rose up in a heap, far away, 
at the city Adam, that is beside ^Zarethan; and those 
that went down to the sea of the Arabah, even the salt 
sea, were completely cut off; and the people passed 
over opposite Jericho. And the priests that bare the 
ark of the covenant of Jehovah stood firm on dry ground 
in the midst of Jordan, and all Israel passed over on 
'dry ground, until all the nation had quite passed over 

^And it was so, when all the nation had quite passed 
over Jordan, that Jehovah spake unto Joshua, saying. 
Take you "" twelve men out of the people, from every 
tribe a man, and command them, saying. Take hence 
out of the midst of Jordan, from the place in which the 
priests' feet stood firm, twelve * stones, and carry them 
over with you, and lay them down in the lodging-place, 
where ye shall lodge this night. And Joshua called the 
twelve men whom he had prepared of the children of 
Israel, 'out of every tribe a man; and said unto them. 
Pass over before the ark of Jehovah your God into the 
midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone 
upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes 
of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among 
you. When your "children shall ask in time to come, 
saying. What mean ye by these stones ? then ye shall say 

o Ps. 42. 7. 

p 1 Kings 

q Ex. 14. 29. 

r ch. 3. 12. 

« cf. Matt 
20. 26-29. 

t cf. Ex. 28. 
1 Kings 18. 

tt ver. 21. 
Ex. 13. 14. 
Ps. 78. 4. 
Eph. 6. 4. 

man's last to which he ministei's, the earth is yet the Lord's, and owns His 
sway. He maketh all things work together for good to them that love Him, and 
godliness to have the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to 
come. Our home is not on earth, but who enjoys even things here as he who 
can look up to the Lord of heaven and earth as his Father ? The bitterest pain 
is eased, the heaviest blow finds us shielded from it, the front of an enemy be- 
comes the salutation of a friend, when God is seen as everywhere, and every 
where for us ; and this is what Ephesians, the book of the heavenly places, itself 
reminds us of— "one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, 
and in all " (ch. iv. 6) : not an unsuited truth to keep the dust of the world out 
of your eyes as you march to the conquest of the heavenly places ! 

Jordan fills all its banks all the time of harvest : for Christ, when He rolled 
back its stream for us, death had all its terrors. But its fiobd is stopped, its 
waters are heaped very far off", so that they should not come near His people at 
their crossing. It was our death He bore : it is taken then out of the way ; 
we pass over to our inheritance, untouched and unhindered by it. 

(ii. ) This passage is ever to be remembered. Effected once for all, it is to be 
continually recalled. Joshua therefore commands twelve men, one being chosen 
of each of the twelve tribes, so as to represent clearly the whole of them, to 
take up out of the bed of the river, from the place in which the priests' feet 
stand firm, twelve stones, to be placed as a memorial in the lodging-place they 



4. 7-9. 

unto them that the waters of Jordan were cut off before 
the ark of the covenant of Jehovah ; when it passed over 
Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these 
stones shall be a memorial unto the children of Israel 
forever. And the children of Israel did so, as Joshua 
had commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the 
midst of Jordan, as Jehovah spake unto Joshua, accord- 
ing to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; 
and they carried them over with them into the place 
where they lodged, and laid them down there. And 
Joshua set up twelve stones in the "midst of Jordan, in 
the place where the priests' feet stood, who bare the ark 
of the covenant : and there they are unto this day. And 

V cf. QaL 6. 

occupy that night. Twelve other stones Joshua has set up in the bed of Jordan 
at the same spot ; but although they also clearly are representative, they are not 
connected with these living representatives : and in this the minute accuracy of 
the type is apparent. For the spiritual mind, the spiritual meaning, and the 
most perfect spiritual order, govern all. 

Christ has been through death for us, and that death was our death : it was bur- 
dened with the weight of our sins, a death of wrath and cui-se, to deliver the chil- 
dren of wrath. Dying thus in our stead, we who believe in Him have died — are 
dead — with Him. It is not an individual experience ; it is not experience at all : 
it is a feet independent even of our faith in it, but our faith in which imports 
much as to the character of our Christianity. We have died with Him, not die 
ourselves, but are dead, — "dead to sin," "dead to the law," "crucified to the 
world," "our old man crucified with Him" (Rom. vi., vii. ; Gal. vi. 14) : these 
are absolute statements of Scripture, true of every real Christian, and by faith 
to be translated into the sphere of practice: "reckon ye also yourselves to be 
dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus." (Rom. vi. 11, Gk.) 

Here are the stones in the bed of the river, with which no living personality is 
connected, because they speak of death, not life ; yet with which is connected 
the thought of representation, because it is in our Representative we died. We 
reckon ourselves dead, not feel or find : we impute that (upon God's warrant) to 
be true which experience does not assent to, for it knows nothing of it ; it is 
not within its sphere to know. How can we experience the death of Christ? We 
believe in it, and rejoice believing ; we believe what it has accomplished for us, 
and experience its practical value for our souls. 

Alive in Christ before God, we can look back upon what we were, and own it, 
yet refuse it. It is our old man that was crucified with Christ. As in the 
resurrection-day that (not far off) beckons us, we shall be able to look back 
upon our present selves as the men that were, so are we able to look back upon 
what we were before conversion as "our old man." It is singular, however, 
not plural, for it is what we were in Adam that is intended by this, and there 
was no "second man " till Christ. We are now in Christ, a new creation, and 
so with a new standing. In Christ's death we died out of the old. The " flesh " 
is in as, and "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves " (1 Jno. i. 8), but 
we must distinguish between "flesh" and the "old man," which is never 
spoken of as in us, but as "put off" (Eph. iv. 22, Gk ; Col. iii. 9), even as in 
natural death the " tabernacle " is put off. (2 Pet. i. 14.) The flesh is in us, but 
we are not in it (Rom. viii. 9), not identified with it before God : the nature is 
there, but the person has pa.ssed away ; we are alive in Christ Jesns. 

This, then, is what we find in the twelve stones in Jordan ; how distinctly is 
shown the change that has taken place, when now twelve other stones are taken 
from the bed of Jordan to be set upon the dry ground. "If any man be in 
Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold, all things are 
become new." (2 Cor. v. 17.) 

w ch. 1. 12- 

X Ex. 14. 26 

Cf. Jno. 3. 

4. 10-18. JOSHUA. 41 

the priests who bare the ark stood in the midst of Jor- 
dan, until all was finished that Jehovah had commanded 
Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that 
Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hasted 
and passed over. And it was so, when all the people 
had quite passed over, that the ark of Jehovah 
passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the 
people. And the «" children of Reuben, and the children 
of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over in 
array before the children of Israel, as Moses had spoken 
unto them: about forty thousand, armed for war, 
passed over before Jehovah unto battle, to the plains of 
Jericho. In that day, Jehovah magnified Joshua in the 
sight of all Israel ; and they feared him as they feared 
Moses, all the days of his life. And Jehovah spake 
unto Joshua, saying. Command the priests that bear the 
ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan. 
And Joshua commanded the priests, saying, Come up 
out of Jordan. And it came to pass, when the priests 
that bare the ark of the covenant of Jehovah had come 
up out of the midst of Jordan, [and] the soles of the 
priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry ground, that 
the waters of Jordan * returned unto their place, and 
flowed over all its banks as before. 

But we must remember that it is in Christ he is looked at ; and this alone can 
justify the absoluteness of the expressions. If we make it read, " If any man be 
converted," or born again, and think simply of condition as experience declares 
it to us, who can say, "aH things"? There is a change indeed, a marvelous 
change, as " new creature " testifies : the man in Christ is a man born again, and 
a possessor of eternal life ; but, as already said, he has still the flesh in him, 
even when he has the Spirit ; "and the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the 
Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye 
should not" — not "cannot" — "do the things that ye would." (Gal. v. 17.) 
Looked at in Christ, however, we are seen as only in the new nature, not the 
old ; and thus " aW things new " cannot be too absolute. 

The living men, therefore, are identified vdth these stones, which are taken 
out of Jordan and put on the Canaan side of the river. We are risen with 
Christ out of death : once more what is true of Christ is on that account true of 
His people. They are associated with Christ in His triumph over death, and in 
the new place He has taken. Resurrection is more than receiving a new life, — 
not a deeper, but a further thing ; and always distinguished from it : " He hath 
quickened us together with Christ," says the apostle, "and raised us up to- 
gether." (Eph. ii. 5, 6.) And in Colossians we find death contrasted with life 
(quickening), as burial with resurrection. (Chap. ii. 12, 13.) Burial is the recog- 
nition of death ; resurrection, of life out of it. Burial is putting the dead into 
the place of death and away from the living. Resurrection is, on the other 
hand, the bringing the living out of the place of the dead into that of the living. 
Christianity separates (as Judaism did not) the living from the dead, and the 
saint from the world. Christ is the Heavenly ; and "as is the Heavenly, such 
are they also that are heavenly. ' ' (1 Cor. xv. 48. ) " They are not of the world, ' ' 
He says, "even as I am not of the world." (Jno. xvii. 14, 16.) 

And these things are to be remembered. We are dead ; we must reckon our- 
selves dead. The memorial stones were not intended more strictly for Israel's 
eyes than the admonition of them is for us. They ^^ happened unto them for 
types, and are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are 


3. (Iv. 19-v.) 
ance fully 
as brought 
the land. 

a (iv.19-24.) 
The place 


4. 19-5. 1. 

b (V. 1.) 

The enemy 


' (a) And the people came up out of Jordan on the 
* tenth [day] of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, 
on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones 
which they had taken out of Jordan did Joshua set up 
in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, 
saying. When your 'children shall ask their fathers in 
time to come, saying, What mean these stones? then ye 
shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over 
this Jordan on dry ground. For Jehovah your God 
dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye 
were passed over, as Jehovah your God had done to the 
Red Sea, which he dried up from before us till we were 
passed over; that all the peoples of the earth might 
know that Jehovah's hand is mighty; that ye might 
fear "Jehovah your God continually. 

(b) And it was so, when all the kings of the Amorites 
that were beyond Jordan westward, and all the kings 
of the * Canaanites that were by the sea, heard that 
Jehovah had dried up the waters of Jordan before the 
children of Israel, till they were passed over, that their 
heart * melted, and there was no spirit in them any 
more, because of the children of Israel. 

y Ex. 12. 3. 

a 1 Pet. 1. 

b Ex. 15. 14. 

cch. 2. 11. 
eh. 7. 5. 

come." "We ought to know them : we are responsible to walk in the power of 
this knowledge. 

Only for the people of God is Jordan dried : they having passed through, it 
returns to its strength, and flows over all its banks as it did before. 

(iii.) Tlie people are now, as it were, on resurrection-ground. What the 
passage through the Sea implied is now accomplished : deliverance is now for the 
first time fully realized. True, there are now enemies before them, while at the 
Red Sea they were behind them ; and the river now behind them cuts them off 
from retreat. God's word to us is also, "Forward! " and in all the panoply of 
God which we are exhorted to put on, there is no armor for the hack. All depends 
upon this for us, and with our faces to the foe we shall never he beaten. 

(ffl) Gilgal is their first camp in Canaan, where the stones are pitched ; and to 
it after their battles they constantly return. It is their impregnable stronghold, 
and base of support. How should they not be strong in the remembrance of 
that marvelous deliverance ! God is for them : who shall be against them ? who 
shall force them back into that flood through which He has so marvelously 
brought them? It would be His dishonor. The stones abide here solidly with 
their firm assurance : " Israel came over this Jordan on dry ground. " Thus "as 
the hills are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people. " 
To reach them their enemies must strike through Him ! 

For us also the place of resurrection is our impregnable defense : it is upon 
this Rock Christ builds His church, and the gates of hades cannot prevail against 
it. We are dead with Him, and out of the old creation ; risen with Him, and 
beyond death itself Nay, we are "seated together in Him in the heavenly 
places," — we have a secure lodgment, whence not all the power of the enemy can 
drive us back. But from thence the pleasant land our portion lies before us, and 
if there are foes to meet, we have the assurance that wherever we plant our foot, 
the land is our own. 

(b) The news of the passage of Jordan fills the kings of the Amorites and 
Canaanites with terror ; their hearts melt, and there is no spirit left in them. 
Satan knows well with whom in all this conflict he has really to do, and before 
the strength of the Lord he cowers. When we go forth in our own, he lifts his 

6. 2-5. 



c(v. 2-9.) 
ion re- 
newed In 
tbe land : 
tbe new 

(c) At that time, Jehovah said unto Joshua, Make 
thee flint knives, and ** circumcise the children of Israel 
again a second time. And Joshua made him flint 
knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the 
hill of the foreskins. And this is the reason why 
Joshua circumcised [them] : all the people that came 
out of Egypt, [that were] males, [even] all the men of 
war, had *died in the wilderness by the way, after they 
came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out 
had been circumcised ; but all the people that were born 
in the wilderness by the way, as they came forth out of 
Egypt, them they had •''not circumcised. For the chil- 

d cf. Col. 2. 


Col. 3. 5. 

e Num. 14. 

Num. 26. 
64, 65. 

f cf. Gen. 
17. 14. 
1 Tim. 3. 
4, 5. 

head again ; and thus we go on now to learn afresh the lesson of circumcision, 
as we need to realize it afresh in every new sphere on which we enter. 

(c) And here we come to that from which Gilgal gets its name. It is when 
Israel is circumcised afresh at the hill of the foreskins that God says, ' ' This day 
have I rolled away from you the reproach of Egypt : " and so the place is called 
Gilgal, ' ' a rolling away. ' ' 

But what was the reproach of Egypt ? If we realize the whole connection 
here, there can hardly be a doubt that it was the reproach of their bondage there 
which circumcision now, the token of their covenant with Jehovah, rolls away. 
For us this is to be a type and an admonition, and well it may be. 

The bondage in Egypt answers to the natural condition as experienced in its 
bitterness by the awakened man. Egj^pt is the world in its independence of 
God, walking by its own light, doing its own will, following its own way. And 
this is sin : ' * we have turned every one to his own way ; and the Lord hath laid 
upon Him the iniquity of us all." Our way is the way of death ; and this death 
He had to take tor our salvation. When the soul is once awakened by God's 
grace, the misery of our own way is felt as the bitterest bondage, but we cannot, 
at will, deliver ourselves. God must come in, and by redemption break our 
bonds, and set us free. 

Israel had long left Egypt, however, and were then a circumcised people. 
Circumcision is the judgment of the flesh, the breaking of confidence in it, the 
putting it off as judged by the cross. (Phil. iii. 3 ; Col. ii. 11 ; Gen. xvii., notes.) 
But this, if real, is tbe breaking of our wills therefore, that we may be yielded 
up to Another's perfect will. It is the principle of holiness, of consecration; 
though in the consciousness of utter weakness, in which His strength alone can 
be perfected. 

Israel came out of Egypt a circumcised people, as souls in the first joy of salva- 
tion devote themselves to God. But they came into a wilderness in which they 
lingered, refusing to go into the land ; and in the wilderness lost largely their 
circumcised character. In the wilderness they had not circumcised : the toil 
of the way, as it seems, had pleaded excuse from a painful rite, and it had dropped 
out, as it would appear, unnoticed. Now, in the land, as soon as they reach 
it, the word of the Lord arouses them to their condition. Uncircumcised, 
they could only be, but for the Lord's grace, cut ofi" as outside His covenant. 
Grace alone it is that here comes in for them, and restores the broken link : how 
blessed to see in the face of all this assurance of man's helplessness and ruin the 
grace of God thus shining forth ! 

Power for the mortification of the flesh, — power to keep it, that is, in the 
place of death that belongs to it, — cannot be maintained by the joy merely of 
salvation, of deliverance from Egypt. There must be entrance into the land, 
appropriation of a heavenly portion, the joy of what lies beyond that world, sub- 
ject to death, through which we pass. Otherwise we get quietly accustomed to 
the fact of deliverance, and the grey hairs of the desert show that the vigor of 
life has declined. The uncircumcised cannot eat the passover : redemption fails 




6. 5-12. 

d (V. 10-12.) 

ceasing of 

& the new 

g Ps. 95. 10, 
Heb. 3. 18. 

h dr. Heb. 

I oh. 9. 6. 

j Ex. 12. 21. 

2 Cor. 3. 18. 
Heb. 2. 9. 

« 2 Cor. 5.16. 

dren of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till 
the whole nation was consumed, [even] the men of war 
that came out of Egypt, because they obeyed not Jeho- 
vah's voice : unto whom Jehovah " sware that he would 
not let them see the land that Jehovah had sworn to 
their fathers to give us, a land that floweth with 
milk and honey. And their children whom he had 
raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised ; for 
they were uncircumcised, because they had not circum- 
cised them by the way. And it came to pass when all 
the nation had been circumcised completely, that they 
abode still in their place in the camp till they were 
whole. And Jehovah said unto Joshua, This day have 
I rolled away from you the * reproach of Egypt. And 
the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. 

{d) And the children of Israel encamped at 'Gilgal, 
and kept the •^ passover the fourteenth day of the month 
at even, in the plains of Jericho. And they ate of the 
* old corn of the land the morrow after the passover, 
unleavened cakes, and parched corn the self-same day. 
And the manna ^ ceased on the morrow, when they ate 
of the old corn of the land ; nor had the children of 
Israel manna any more ; and they ate of the produce of 
the land of Canaan that year. 

more and more to minister to us ; the pilgrimage becomes a toil, less and less 

For this there is no remedy till the land is reached, and the fullness of our 
blessing spreads itself before eager eyes. Then, as in a moment, circumcision is 
recovered. "If then ye be risen vrith Christ, seek the things above, where 
Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not 
on things that are upon the earth ; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with 
Christ in God . . . Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth." 
(Col. iii. 1-5.) Here is the ground of circumcision realized and maintained. 
Its power lies in the development of a life which is hid with Christ in God, and 
must find its satisfaction in that which is heavenly and eternal. Here, on the 
other side of Jordan, consecration becomes easy, and strength is renewed. 

Cowles well calls our attention to this act of Joshua in circumcising the men 
of war at this point as, humanly speaking, ' ' a most unmilitary act. " " With ap- 
parently not the least fear lest the Canaanites should muster their forces, and 
fall suddenly upon them — with a deep feeling obviously that his first concern 
was to be right before God, and to have all his soldiers and people right in 
heart, and true to every precept of their God, he suspended all military move- 
ments ; gave his enemies time to recover from tlieir panic ; halted his army, not 
only for some days of circumcision, but for the feast of the passover, seven days, 
—all as if religion was infinitely more than military strategy — as it truly 

For us, how much more important that we should tarry here by the banks of 
Jordan, until we are in our place before God, and have our souls fed, and our 
spiritual strength renewed. All this connects with the truth before us: "We 
are the circumcision who worship God in the Spirit, and glory in Christ Jesus, 
and have no confidence in the flesh." 

{d) Accordingly we have now brought together two things which give us the 
beginning and the end of the blessings of redemption, the passover and the old 
corn of the land. In the first, we are looking back to the work that sheltered 

5. 13-14. JOSHUA. 45 

e (V. 13-15.; 


with His 


(e) And it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho, 
that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, a 
" man standing over against him, with his sword drawn 
in his hand. And Joshua went unto him, and said unto 
him. Art thou for us, or for our adversaries ? And he 
said. Nay, but as " captain of Jehovah's host am I now 
come. And Joshua " fell on his face to the earth, and 
worshiped, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto 

m Gen. 18.2. 
Gen. 32. 24. 
Ex. 15. 3. 

n cf. He&. 
2. 10. 

Ex. 12. 41. 
Is. 55. 4. 

o Ex. 3. 5, 6. 

US in Egypt, feeding on the lamb of atonement, remembering to keep the feast 
with the unleavened bread also of sincerity and truth. But along with this 
there is a new experience : the manna ceases the day after the passover, and they 
eat of the old corn of the land to which they have come, — unleavened cakes and 
parched corn. It is still, of course, typically Christ, for He is all the food of the 
soul • but it is no more the bread from heaven, Christ humbled as come down 
into the world. This land being typically heaven, it is the produce of the land 
itself, a heavenly Christ in heaven. It is ours not merely to know Him as come 
down into the world, but to know Him also as gone up where He was before. 
He is the same blessed Person, whom circumstances cannot change, and this is 
our joy to know. Were He in glory different from the One we have seen on 
earth, then we could not know Him now at all, for our knowledge of Him was 
gained in His humiliation here ; and this is what the manna carried into 
Canaan, the "hidden manna" of Kevelation, emphasizes for us. Yes, He is the 
same, unchanged, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever ; but for that very 
reason, what joy and satisfaction to the heart to follow Him in faith beyond the 
clouds that hid Him from the disciples gazing after Him as He went up, and to 
know Him in His present glory, with the divine glory in His face ! 

This, as the apostle tells us, is the only Christ that now we can know • 
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh ; even though we have 
known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know Him so no more." (2 Cor. v. 16.) 
For there is but one Christ, not two : and He is in heaven : blessed be God, the 
very One who wrought redemption ; Priest on earth to do it ; Priest now within 
the sanctuary, and upon the throne. 

That He is still Man this old corn of the land assures us ; and what sustenance 
for our souls to know Him there, " faithful to Him that apjwinted Him," bear- 
ing us upon His heart, as the typical high-priest bore the tribal names on the 
jewels of the breastplate. What blessedness to know that He is there also God 
still incarnate, the "very image of the Invisible," "the effblgence of His 
glory"! This is indeed wondrous food for the sustenance of the new life; 
manna still, but in its golden vessel in the ark : food which from the hidden 
sanctuary makes the life of him who partakes of it practically a life hid with 
Christ in God, — a life which shall be manifested only when Christ who is our 
life shall appear, and we shall appear with Him in glory. (Col. iii. 4.) 

(e) And now, before the beginning of a conflict which is imminent, the angel 
of Jehovah appears to Joshua as the Leader of Jehovah's host. Commentators 
in general seem to decide that this host is angelic, and Keil to the reminder that 
Israel are spoken of as the hosts of the Lord when they come out of Egypt, 
makes the strange reply that the Israelites are ' ' never called the host of the 
Lord in the singular. " Now in Dan. viii., Keil himself agrees that Israel are 
called the "host of heaven," and there is even seen a "prince of the host," as 
here, who is clearly Christ. All that can be said against this is, that it is 
figurative language : and that is no doubt true ; but the figure seems to be more 
in their being called the host of heaven, that is, compared to this, which leaves 
the rest scarcely afl'ected. 

When he says '■^ never called," moreover, it is only in Ex. xii. that they are 
called so in the plural : why then should they not be once called this here, and 
no more ? 



5. 15-6. 4. 

The fell of 
Jericho: of 
the world 
by faith.} 

his servant? And the captain of Jehovah's host said 
unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot ; for the 
place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua 
did so. 


4. Now Jericho was ^shut up and barred because of the 
children of Israel : none went out and none came in. 
And Jehovah said unto Joshua, See, I have given into 
thy hand Jericho and her king, [and] the mighty men 
of valor. And ye shall go round the city, all the men 
of war, encompassing the city once : thus shalt thou do 
« six days. And seven priests shall bear before the •■ ark 

p ch. 2. 7. 
2 Kings 6. 

q Gen. 7. 4. 
r ch. 4. 18. 

We have seen, too, that this entrance into Canaan, completing the deliverance 
out of Egypt, recalls some of its features very distinctly. The reproach of Egypt 
is but now rolled oflf. The drying up of Jordan repeats the miracle of the Sea. 
What more natural than that the "hosts of the Lord " (v^hich seems already to 
look forv?ard to the warfare now at hand) should reappear after their long burial 
in the wilderness as the "host of the Lord " under their heavenly Leader? 

Even a reason for the slight change from ' ' hosts " to " host ' ' may be sug- 
gested. In Egypt their number, to which they had so wonderfully increased, 
spite of all the opposition of the enemy, might naturally be implied by the 
plural. The wilderness, on the other hand, had not allowed even ordinary in- 
crease ; but its discipline had at last compacted and unified them ; the genera- 
tion that went into the land with Joshua was in this respect superior perhaps to 
any other. 

Israel, then, is Jehovah's host, at the head of which Jehovah is putting 
Himself. He has unsheathed the sword, and the conflict to follow He Himself 
leads His people into ; the judgment they execute is His judgment. If Joshua 
already speaks of Christ in us, it may seem strange that we should have Another 
introduced here, higher than Joshua, and the real leader of the people. We 
have already found, however, double representations of Christ contemporaneous 
with one another. Here if Joshua represent Cbrist in us, it may be yet neces- 
sary, because of our readiness to mistake, to guard this by showing us another 
Christ external to us to whom that which we account to be the Christ within 
yields the fust place. For in all this line of things we have to remember that 
we have to do vritb those subjective experiences in which we are prone to go 
astray, and need, perpetually, correction by the Word. If we speak of Christ in 
us, it may easily be that impulses not really of Christ may simulate His voice, 
and that we may need the warning emphasized that there is a Voice external to us 
altogether, to which before all we must be in subjection. Christ is every where 
the same, and His Voice, wherever heard, must be of equal authority ; but just 
on that very account what is of Christ in us will conform itself to, and own, 
the authority of the Christ without us, speaking by His Spirit through His 
Word. Here, indeed, the lowliest spirit becomes us, prostration of self, and 
the unshod foot. Only so can we be led surely, preserved alike from rationalism 
and from fanaticism, in a path of steady i^rogress and of assured victory. 

4. The fall of Jericho follows. We have seen it to be a special type of the 
world : to man, a savor of a sweet smell, in truth, a most fertile and attractive 
place, yet by the river of death, and for which beyond death lay judgment in the 
camp of Israel. The judgment had now come near, and in the details of it we 
see evident reference to the judgment of the world that shall be, but which faith 
anticipating makes a present thing. "And this is the victory that overcometh 
the world, even our faith." (1 Jno. v. 4.) 

Thus we have a prophetic and a present significance. As to the prophetic, we 
have to remember that it is of courae not the judgment of the great white throne 

n Lev. 25. 9. 
Num. 10.1. 
c/. Jas. 5. 7. 

t cf. Matt. 
12. 19. 

6. 4-11. JOSHUA. 47 

'seven trumpets of jubilee; and on the seventh day ye 
shall go round the city seven times, and the priests 
shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall be, when 
they make a long blast with the horn of jubilee, and 
when ye hear the voice of the trumpet, all the people 
shall shout with a loud shout ; and the wall of the city 
shall fall flat; and the people shall go up, every one 
straight before him. And Joshua called the priests, and 
said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and 
let seven priests bear seven trumpets of jubilee before 
the ark of Jehovah. And they said unto the people, 
Pass on : go round the city ; and let the armed men 
pass on before Jehovah's ark. And so it was, when 
Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests 
bearing the seven trumpets of jubilee before Jehovah 
passed on, and blew with the trumpets; and the ark of 
the covenant of Jehovah went after them. And the 
armed men went before the priests that blew the 
trumpets, and the rear-guard came after the ark : they 
blew with the trumpets as they marched. And Joshua 
commanded the people, saying. Ye shall 'not shout, nor 
let your voice be heard, nor shall a word proceed out 
of your mouth until the day I say unto you, Shout : 
then shall ye shout. And the ark of Jehovah went 
round the city, encompassing it once; and they came 
into the camp, and lodged in the camp. 

that is i)reseuted here. Then the heavens aud the earth shall flee away from 
before the face of Him who sits upon the throne, and the dead — that is, those 
not raised iu the resurrection of the blessed, a whole millennium before — small 
and great, stand before God to be judged out of the books, according to their 
works. But there is a judgment of the quick (the living) also, at the former time, 
when the Lord appears ; and here not only do the "armies that are in heaven " 
follow iu the train of their glorious Leader, but Israel also take their own place 
once more as of old, as solemn executioners of God's sentence upon the ripened 
iniquity of the nations. (Comp. Eev. xix., xx. with Zeeh. xii. 6, xiv. 14; Mic. 
v. 7-9; Obad. 14-21.) Thus Israel in the book of Joshua may well be here a 
type of Israel in the coming day : a day which in the book of Revelation the 
S€ve7i trumpets usher in (chap, viii.-xi. 18), as here for seven days ring out the 
trumpets which precede the ark, the throne of the Lord, and on the seventh 
day, during seven circuits. 

Note, too, that they are " trumpets of JK6j7ee. " The word used here is the 
regular word for that, and there is no real warrant for ' ' rams' horns, ' ' though 
the revisers of the common version have retained it. The trumpet was, no 
doubt, a cornet or horn, and is expressly called "horn" in the fifth verse 
("horn of jubilee") ; but this very verse proves that johel does not mean 
"ram's horn ;" for "horn of ram's horn," would hardly do, and the revisers 
could only settle the difficulty by dropping one of the words. That it was a 
' ' horn ' ' may, according to the recognized idea of power associated with this, 
direct our attention to the Word of God, which, whether men recognize it or 
not, is that by which all events are governed, and in obedience to which the 
lingering judgment surely comes at last. 

But "jubilee " seems in unnatural association with this thought of judgment; 
and here, no doubt, has been the reason for discarding the word. The prophetic 
meaning, if grasped, clears up at once the difficulty, and converts it into one of 



6. 12-21. 

And Joshua arose "early in the moi-ning, and the 
priests took up Jehovah's ark. And the seven priests, 
bearing the seven trumpets of jubilee before the ark of 
Jehovah, went on continually, and blew with the 
trumpets ; and the armed men went before them, and 
the rear-guard came after the ark of Jehovah : they 
blew with the trumpets as they went on. And the sec- 
ond day they went round the city once, and returned 
unto the camp : so they did six days. 

And it came to pass that on the seventh day they 
arose early, about sunrise, and went round the city 
after the same manner seven times : on that day only 
they went round the city seven times. And it came to 
pass, at the seventh time, when the priests blew with 
the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, "Shout: for 
Jehovah hath given you the city. And the city shall 
be under '"ban, — it and all that is in it, to Jehovah. 
Only ^Rahab the harlot shall live, — she and all that are 
with her in the house, because she hid the messengers 
that we sent. But "keep yourselves in any wise from 
that which is under ban, lest ye come under ban in 
taking of that which is banned, and bring the *camp of 
Israel under ban, and trouble it. And all the "silver 
and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are holy unto 
Jehovah : they shall come into the treasury of Jehovah. 
So the people shouted Avhen they blew with the trump- 
ets; and it came to pass when the people heard the 
sound of the trumpets, and the people shouted with a 
great shout, that the wall * fell down flat, and the peo- 
ple went up into the city, — every man straight before 
him, and they took the city. And they destroyed "= under 

u ch. 3. 1. 
ver. 15. 
cf. Mark 1. 

V 2 Chron. 
13. 14, 15. 

IV 1 Sam. 
15. 3. 

X ch. 2. 14. 
cf. Gen. 19. 

y Deut.7.26. 
cf. 2 Cor. 6. 

Jas. 1. 27 
Jno. 17. 15- 

z ch. 7. 11. 
1 Cor. 5. 6. 

a Num. 31. 

h Heb. 11. 

c Ex. 25. 19. 

the strongest arguments for the deeper view. Earth's jubilee not only lies 
beyond the judgment of the nations, but involves and calls for it. God's 
blessing cannot rest upon an unpurged scene ; and with the casting out of the 
"prince of this world," the whole system of it, which he sustains and inspires, 
must come to an end. And in this end God's hand must be seen against it. 
To use the symbol of the prophet, the stone cut ont without hands, the kingdom 
of Christ, which no human power can introduce, must first dash to pieces the 
image (of Gentile empire) before it becomes a great mountain and fills the 
whole earth. (Dan. ii. ) 

Thus every voice of nearing judgment is yet a trumpet of jubilee. Upon the 
wreck of what at best is but the lifeless form of true humanity, is to be estab- 
lished the glory of the kingdom of the Son of Man. 

On the seventh day, at the end of the seven circuits of the city, with the 
final blast of the trumpet aud the people's shout, the walls fall fiat ; the breath 
of the Lord has smitten down their defense, and the city is taken. So in the 
last days will the Lord, as prophecy shows, Himself intervene for His people, 
and the power of the world be prostrate as in a moment. Yet, as we hear of a 
spared Kahab in the type, so in the antitype are there those spared among the 
nations (Is. Ixvi. 19; Matt. xxv. 31-40); and the sessional judgment prophesied 
in Matthew reads much like the story of Kahab : "I was a stranger, and ye 
took Me in, ... I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Verily, I say unto 
you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these My brethren, ye did it 
unto Me." 

6. 21-27. 




/ 1 Kiugs 
cf. Gal. 2. 

ban all that was in the city, both man and woman, 
young and old, and ox and sheep and ass, with the 
edge of the sword. And Joshua said unto the two men 
that had spied out the land, Go into the harlot's house, 
and "^ bring out thence the woman and all that she hath, 
as ye sware unto her. And the young men, the spies, 
went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and 
her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had : 
they brought out all her kindred, and left them without 
the camp of Israel. And the city they burned with fire, 
and all that was therein ; but the silver and gold, and 
vessels of brass and iron, they put into the treasury of 
Jehovah's house. But Rahab the harlot, and her 
father's house, and all that she had, Joshua saved alive ; 
and she ' dwelleth in Israel unto this day, because she 
hid the messengers that Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. 
And Joshua charged them with an oath at that time, 
saying, ■''Cursed be the man before Jehovah who shall 
rise up and build this city Jericho ! With his first-born 
shall he lay the foundation, and with his youngest son 
shall he set up its gates. And Jehovah was with 
Joshua ; and his fame was in all the land. 

This judgment of the world by God stamps it for faith already with its 
character. The ground of judgment is, as with all the heathen, primarily the 
rejection of God, which leads them into idolatry, the changing the Creator into 
an image of the creature, for the gratification in fact of their own lusts and 
passions without rebuke. The rejection of Christ when He came was but this 
primal sin in a form aggravated in proportion to the display of His glory, in the 
fullness of grace and truth. Hence the cross was the judgment of the world, 
a sentence it pronounced upon itself long since, though the loug-sufiering of 
God has delayed its execution. But for him who believes upon the Crucified One 
as Son of God the world is overcome. (1 Jno. v. 5.) "God forbid," says the 
apostle, "that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Gal. vi. 14.) 

Egypt indeed, which is the world, has been long since by Israel left behind ; 
but as we have seen in other ways, here alone is the complete realization of this 
deliverance. Passing the sea, they had come into the wilderness, and such is 
the world for the redeemed of the Lord. But the wilderness in its very nature 
is not the place of satisfaction for the heart, which the land is ; the land flowing 
with milk and honey, their inheritance and rest. Looked at as in the wilder- 
ness, the people of God are still in the world, and with all its barrenness the 
heart can seek its own in it. Power there must be found in that which is 
beyond it. We must be fully outside that which is to be judged, to accept 
heartily that judgment ; and thus it is that what seems strange at first sight is 
most fully in order, that it is ou the entrance into the land that Jericho falls. 

It is the first thing also for the conquest of the land, because, as we have seen, 
the conflict in heavenly places is with the ' ' rulers of the darkness of this world ; ' ' 
and therefore the judgment of the world is the first necessity for successful war- 
fare. We shall have this illustrated for us and emphasized in the very next 
section ; and we must remember it as a practical reality, if this book of Joshua 
is to be translated for us into living experience. God grant that it may be so ; 
for otherwise all these things so blessed in themselves will be but a shame and 
reproach and witness against us. 

The details of the fall of Jericho seem not, however, to be facts of present ex- 
perience, but prophetic of actual judgment when it comes ; and this is quite as we 

60 JOSHUA. 7. 1. 

Divine gov- 
Achan and 

1. (vii.) Is- 
rael's unity 
in responsi- 
bility, as 
shown by 
one trans- 

g Acts 6. 1- 

h Oeu.38.80. 

t Lev. 4. 18. 

(VII., VIII.) 

5. ^(a) But the children of Israel "acted unfaithfully 
about the devoted thing ; and Achan, the son of Carmi, 
the son of Zabdi, the son of *Zerah, of the tribe of 
Judah, took of the devoted thing ; and the auger of 
Jehovah was kindled against the children of 'Israel. 

« (u. 1 ) The rebel. 

might expect. We see by them, however, that the people of God have to maintain 
the testimony as to these things : compassing the city and blowing the trumpets 
until the city falls ; although it be only in the meantime to awaken the scorn 
of the men of the world, as they hear the frequent alarm of that which seems 
never to come. But it comes, comes steadily nearer, is surely even now at the 
door, and how urgent should be our testimony, which, if of no effect upon the 
mass, yet helps to fill Eahab's house, where the true scarlet line, as despicable 
in men's eyes as that of old, shields with the power of the Almighty the 
prisoners of hope. 

5. We have now a very different lesson, in which Ai and Achan are united 
together. Ai, in its meaning, a "heap," — to the present time known as Et-Tell, 
"the heap," — naturally enough connects it with Jericho, just reduced to one ; 
still more when we remember that the "principalities and powers in heaveuly 
places," with whom our conflict is, are the "rulers of the darkness of this 
world," and that these cities, therefore, naturally represent the world in some 
shape. Ai is the world seen in its ruin as faith sees it, which yet apart from 
God's presence with us we are not able to overcome. Unjudged evil in us will 
yet make the world too strong for us, and this the sin of Achan does for Israel. 

(i.) The unity of Israel in God's sight is also clearly shown. As one sin 
ruined the world at first, so here one sin unjudged brings judgment upon all 
Israel. But it is plain also that there is carelessness otherwise, judging by the 
report of the spies instead of taking counsel of the Lord, and counting on their 
own strength for an enemy of little power, — our own behavior, alas ! too often, 
and a simple reason why small difiiculties often overcome us, while greater ones, 
casting us on God, are in His strength overcome. 

But Israel's unity, as realized in this way, made them every one in very 
deed his brother's keeper, and enforced powerfully upon them a care for holi- 
ness such as hardly any thing else could be imagined to produce. While an 
habitual walk with God, step by step, according to his direction, would be the 
only possible rule for the detection of whatever stood in the way of blessing, 
the only condition of success. 

(a) To come to details : we have first of all the rebel pointed out to us, with 
his genealogy, which is carefully repeated afterward when his sin is brought to 
light. Doubtless this has a meaning : whether we can trace it or not is another 
matter. But our own descent from Adam has much to do with our being 
sinners : "heredity," great word as it is now in the mouths of men of science 
so-called, is found in what it represents in Scripture just as much. The differ- 
ence is that what is mere "natural " science takes account only of nature, leaves 
out God, and binds all together in a fatalistic succession under materialistic law. 
Upon this understanding of it, sin disappears : it is misfortune. God disappears 
on the other side : He would be anomalous in such a scheme ; and, instead of 
accounting for any thing, would need Himself to be accounted for. The iron 
wheel grinds out man's destiny; and he is part of the wheel: how can he 
complain ? 

Heredity there is, however, and in the history of a sinner God counts his 
ancestry,— his birth, and, as men say now, his environment. For these, more- 
over, he is not condemned : thus far Scripture agrees with materialism. But 
when man acts according to the nature he is Iwrn with, and according to his 
environment, then for this it declares him guilty, and to be punished ! Some- 
how man is responsible to live contrary to his very nature morally, and to stem 

7. 2-7. 

6 (2-5.) 

c (6-15.) 
The tbing 


iu the 

presence of 

the Lord. 


(b) And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is 
beside Beth-aven, in front of Bethel, and spake unto 
them, saying, Go up and •'spy out the land. And the 
men went up and spied out Ai. And they returned to 
Joshua, and said unto him, * Let not all the people go 
up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and 
smite Ai : make not all the people toil thither, for they 
are few. And there went up thither of the people about 
three thousand men ; and they 'fled before the men of 
Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty-six 
men ; and they pursued them from before the gate to 
Shebarim, and smote them on the descent; and the 
heart of the people '"melted and became as water. 

(c) And Joshua "rent his clothes, and "fell to the 
earth upon his face before the ark of Jehovah until 
evening, — he and the elders of Israel ; and they cast 
dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas ! O Lord 
Jehovah, ^why hast thou brought, as thou hast, this 
people over Jordan, to give us up into the hand of the 


J ch. 2. 1. 

k c/. ch.8.1. 
Judg. 20. 
1 Cor. 10. 12. 
dr. Judg.7. 
2, 4-8. 
1 Sam. 17. 
Phil. 3. 3. 
Phil. 4. 13. 

/ Deut.28.25. 
18am. 4. 2, 

m chap. 5. 1. 

n Lev.13.45 
1 8am.5.12. 

o Num.20.6. 

p Ex. 5. 22. 

the stream he is in. And Scripture not only declares this, but a voice within 
man, spite of all reasonings, adds its confirmation, and makes out the man 
obedient to his nature to be disobedient to his God ! 

And " the testimony of two is true." And God can appeal to man's reason 
and conscience against himself, that there is, after all, in him that Avhich should 
be for God, and power that he should have from God, if he has not. That he 
cannot have power but from God, cannot have it in independency, is simple, 
and the law of creaturehood; and of this he has no title to complain. 

"Walking apart from God, his nature and his environmeut govern him 
absolutely: and thus a siuuer's genealogy counts for much. Nay, a saint 
slipping away from God falls under the same iron rule, and his conduct may be 
accounted for after the "scientific" fashion, without any more excuse for the 
one than for the other. This much, without going further, Achan's genealogy 
as given here may preach to us. 

(6) Next we hear of Ai. It is beside Beth-aven, the "house of vanity," and iu 
front of Bethel, the "house of God." In Abram's time, when he first comes 
into the land, Bethel and Ai lie on either side of him, and thus opposed to one 
another. (Gen. xii.) Ai is known plainly by what it associates itself with and 
what it is opposed to, and the stamp of the world is evidently upon it. 

Jericho the greater has been overcome : they think but little of Ai ; if the 
world has been judged in gross, it may be supposed a little thing to overcome it 
in detail, in the little things in which it still presents itself in our path. Just 
here, and perhaps on this very account, we may suffer unexpected defeat. 
Israel's detachment of two or three thousand turn their backs before the men of 
Ai, who smite them on the descent — we are always apt to be smitten upon the 
descent, — and inflict a loss of thirty-six men, a number which, if small, yet 
plainly speaks of the government of God (3 x 12) against them. In this there 
is hope, however, for those that know Him. 

(c) And Joshua turns to Him at once. Yet he is in dismay at so unforeseen 
a calamity ; all the more as he knows no reason for it. Alas ! how easily we 
slip out of communion with God, and are not aware of it ! " Deliver me from 
secret faults," says the psalmist. How easily, too, with most of us, God's 
ways, if in the dark, provoke murmuring ! How unbelief dogs faith, as if it 
were its shadow ! After all God's glorious deeds, one little check, and the whole 
future darkens. Yet even with its burden of unbelief on its back, faith is seen 
in its turning to God ; and in His presence finds deliverance. 



7. 7-15. 

ctr. Num. 
14. 6-8. 

r Deut. 32. 

Ezek. 36. 

s ch. 22. 18. 
c/. 1 Sam. 
14. 3G-46. 

t ch. 6. 18. 

Amorites, to destroy us ? « would we had been content, 
and dwelt beyond Jordan ! Ah, Lord ! what shall I 
say, after Israel have turned their backs before their 
enemies ? And the Canaanites and all the inhabitants 
of the land will hear it, and will surround us, and cut 
off our name fi-om the earth : and what wilt thou do for 
thy •■ great name ? 

And Jehovah said unto Joshua, Rise up ! why is it 
that thou art lying upon thy face? 'Israel hath sinned; 
yea, they have even transgressed my covenant which I 
commanded them, and have taken even of the devoted 
thing, and stolen it, and dissembled also, and put it 
even among their stuff. And the children of Israel 
cannot stand before their enemies: they turn their 
backs before their enemies, because they have come 
'under the ban: I will not any more be with you, ex- 
cept ye destroy fi-om among you the devoted thing. 
Rise : sanctify the people ; and say, Sanctify yourselves 
against to-morrow ; for thus saith Jehovah, the God of 
Israel : The devoted thing is in thy midst, O Israel : 
thou wilt not be able to stand before thine enemies 
until ye put away the devoted thing out of your midst. 
And in the morning ye shall be brought near by your 
tribes ; and it shall be that the tribe Jehovah taketh 
shall present itself by families, and the family that Je- 
hovah taketh shall present itself by households, and the 
household that Jehovah taketh shall present itself man 
by man. And it shall be that he who is taken with the 
accursed thing shall be burnt in the fire, — he and all 
that he hath, because he hath transgressed Jehovah's 
covenant, and because he hath wrought vileness in 

There is really no mystery about it. What has happened can have but cue 
solution of it. Israel has sinned. All shadows that have darkened the world 
find their explanation in a similar manner. Own it, and the cloud begins to 
clear. "The humble He guides in judgment ; the humble He teaches His way." 
"What wilt Thou do for Thy great name?" asks Joshua. The answer is 
simple : God is caring for it in the very thing TAhich now perplexes the soul of 
the inquirer. What poor reasoners are we, when we do not begin with God ! 
That He will care for His name is an axiom for faith, and needs no demonstra- 
tion. How shall Ave prove that every event has a cause? The thing is plain : 
the difiQculty is created by trying to prove it. Suggest the doubt, and reason 
itself is useless, except to recall faith to its vacated post. 

Doubt it not : God will care for His great name. Let no man labor to get 
Him out of a strait which never existed ; which, if it existed, all creature 
resources would be too little for. Let us despair indeed, if God cannot uphold 
the honor of His name ! Nor will He give up His people : just on this account 
will He chasten them. Had they not chastisement, whereof all are partakei-s, 
then they would be bastards and not sons. 

But all must learn this where the P.salmist did, in the sanctuary. And there 
it is we learn to kiss as well as to know the rod. " So foolish," he says, " was 
I, and ignorant ; I was even as a beast before Thee. Nevertheless" — spite of 
all my doubts — " I am continually with Thee : Thou hast holden me with Thy 
right hand." (Ps. Ixxiii.) 

7. 16-25. 



4 (16-23.) 
The test 

e (24-26.) 


(d) And Joshua arose "early in the morning, and 
caused Israel to present themselves by their tribes ; and 
the tribe of Judah was taken. And he made the fami- 
lies of Judah present themselves, and he took the 
family of the Zarhites. And he caused the family of 
the Zarhites to present themselves man by man ; and 
Zabdi was taken. And he caused his household to pre- 
sent themselves man by man; and "Achan, the son of 
Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe 
of Judah, was taken. And Joshua said unto Achan, 
My son, give, I pray thee, glory to Jehovah the God of 
Israel, and make confession unto him ; tell me now 
what thou hast done ; hide it not from me. And Achan 
answered Joshua, and said, "" Of a truth have I sinned 
against Jehovah, the God of Israel, and thus it is I have 
done. I saw among the spoil a beautiful Shinar mantle, 
and two hundred shekels of silver, and a tongue of gold 
of fifty shekels weight ; and I ' coveted them ; and I 
took them ; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in 
the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. And 
Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and, 
behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 
And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and 
brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of 
Israel, and laid them out before Jehovah. 

(e) And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan 
the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the mantle, and 
the tongue of gold, and his ^sons, and his daughters, 
and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, 
and all that he had ; and they brought them up unto 
the valley of Achor. And Joshua said. How hast thou 

M ch. 6. 15. 
ch. 8. 10. 
1 Sam. 14. 

cf. Deut. 

V Num. 32. 

cti; 1 Cor. 
11. 27-32. 

w cf. Matt. 
27. 3, 4. 
2 Cor. 7. 10. 

X Ex. 20. 17. 
Gen. 3. 6. 
Col. 3. 5. 

y Num. 16. 
ch. 22. 20. 

{d) Israel has sinned : but who is the actual ofifender ? To discover this they 
are made to present themselves by tribes, by families, by individuals, the lot 
being cast aud unfailingly determining all. This slow approach toward con- 
viction, when it might rather have been expected that the sinner would have been 
at once named by Him under whose eye he was, seems perfectly suited to 
exercise the consciences of all, and to lead the guilty one to anticipate conviction 
by a free confession. But it comes all too late, pressed out at last, when con- 
cealment can no longer avail any thing. Then he owns : "I saw, I coveted, I 
took : " the old, ever-repeating story of sin, in which heredity clearly manifests 
itself, kleptomania from our first mother ; but there is no justification on this 

It was on the new earth, risen out of the flood of Noah's day, that Babylon was 
first developed. Here among Israel, on typical resurrection-ground, we find 
conuected with this first sin, a "mantle of Shinar." With this, too, silver and 
gold are not difficult to associate, standing here, of course, just for what they 
represent to those who lust for them. Shinar is not indeed precisely Babylon, 
though more in name than in reality separate. It was the plain in which the 
city stood, in the same relation to it as Lot's coveted "plain of Jordan" to 
Sodom, into which he gravitated from it. 

(e) Judgment follows the discovery of Achan's sin ; and it is plain that his 
family suffer with him. As the law forbad the putting to death of children for 
their father's sins, we are shut up to the conclusion that they were involved with 
him in the guilt of what he had done, as the burial of the stolen things in the 



7. 25-8. 11. 


Conflict, & 



z Lev. 24.14, 

e/. 1 Cor. 5. 

a Hob. 2. 15. 
I8. 65. 10. 
I8. 1. 27. 

b ch. 1. 8. 

c </. ch. 7. 3. 

d ch. 6. 24. 

e Num. 81. 

/ Jud. 20.29. 

2 Sam. 12. 


troubled us ! Jehovah troubleth thee this day. And all 
Israel *stoned him with stones; and they burned them 
with fire, and stoned them with stones. And they 
raised over him a great heap of stones, [which is there] 
to this day. And Jehovah turned fi-om the fierceness 
of his anger : wherefore the name of that place is called, 
The valley of "Achor, unto this day. 

*And Jehovah said unto Joshua, *Fear not, nor be 
dismayed: take with thee "^all the people of war, and 
arise, go up to Ai ; see, I have given into thy hand the 
king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land ; 
and thou shalt do unto Ai and her king as thou didst 
unto ^ Jericho and her king : only the spoil thereof and 
the cattle thereof shall ye take for a 'prey unto your- 
selves: set thee an •''ambush for the city behind it. 
And Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up 
against Ai. And Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty 
men of valor, and sent them away by night. And 
he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in 
ambush against the city, behind the city : be not very 
far fi'om the city, and be all of you ready ; and I and 
all the people with me will draw near to the city ; and 
it shall be when they come out against us, as at the 
first, that we will flee before them. And they will come 
out after us till we have drawn them away from the 
city; for they will say. They flee before us as at the 
first : therefore will we flee before them. And ye shall 
rise up from the ambush, and take possession of the 
city ; for Jehovah your God giveth it up into your hand. 
And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that ye 
shall set the city on fire : according to the M'ord of Je- 
hovah shall ye do : see, I have commanded you. 

And Joshua sent them forth, and they went to lie in 
ambush, and stayed between Bethel and Ai, westward 
of Ai ; and Joshua lodged that night among the people. 
And Joshua rose up " early in the morning and mus- 
tered the people, and went up, — he and the elders of 
Israel, before the people, to Ai. And all the people of 
war that were with him went up, and drew near, and 
came before the city : and they encamped on the north 
of Ai, and there was a ravine between them and Ai. 

midst of his tent would otherwise make probable. It would seem out of place 
to infer, as soiue have done, mob violence iu a solemn judgment executed in 
the presence of Joshua and all Israel. 

(ii.) And now what hindered God's power acting for them being removed, 
Joshua is encouraged to go up again against Ai. But their former presumption 
still needs rebuke ; and thus they are made to labor iu the capture of the city, 
spite of its littleness. All the people take part in it. An ambush is placed 
behind the city, and they are made to feign that they are fleeing as they fled 
before. All this is clearly humiliation for their pride. How much iu that 
which is work that we do for God has to conform itself to the need there is in 
us ! God shapes His instruments, even while He works with them. 

fir ch. 7. 18. 

h Ex. 14. 27, 


8. 12-26. JOSHUA. 55 

And he took about five thousand men, and set them to 
lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west of the 
city. And when they had set the people, the whole 
camp, on the north of the city, and their ambush on 
the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the 
midst of the valley. 

And it was so, when the king of Ai saw it, that the 
men of the city hasted, and rose up early, and went out 
against Israel to battle, — he and all his people, to the 
appointed place, before the plain : and he knew not 
that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten 
before them, and fled the way of the wilderness. And 
all the people that were in the city were called together 
to pursue after them ; and they pursued after Joshua, 
and were drawn away from the city. And there was 
not a man left in Ai or in Bethel that went not out 
after Israel. And they left the city open and pursued 
after Israel. 

And Jehovah said unto Joshua, * Stretch out the 
javelin that is in thy hand toward Ai ; for I will give it 
into thy hand : and Joshua sti'etched out the javelin 
that was in his hand toward the city. And the ambush 
rose up quickly out of their place, and they ran, as soon 
as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the 
city, and took it ; and they hasted, and set the city on 
fire. And the men of Ai turned, and saw, and, behold, 
the smoke of the city rose up to heaven ; and they had 
no power to flee this way or that ; and the people that 
were fleeing to the wilderness turned upon the pursu- 
ers. And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the 
ambush had taken the city, and the smoke of the city 
rising up, they turned back and slew the men of Ai. 
And the others came out of the city against them ; and 
they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side and 
some on that side ; and they smote them, so that they 
let none of them remain or escape. And the • king of 
Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua. 

And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of 
slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wil- 
derness wherein they had pursued them, and they were 
all fallen by the edge of the sword until they were con- 
sumed, that all Israel returned to Ai, and smote it with 
the edge of the sword. And so it was that all that fell 
that day, men as well as women, were twelve thou- 
sand, — all the men of Ai. For Joshua drew not back 
his hand wheremth he stretched out the javelin until 

Ai is taken, however, and destroyed, her king hnng upon a tree, and then 
taken down, and a heap raised over him, as before with Achan. They had been 
indeed partners in evil ; and Achan a worse trouble than the king of Ai could 
have been. Evil indulged among the people of God is the ally of the foe 
without, and the only true hindrance to continuous progress. 




8. 26-9. 3. 

The seal of 
the cove- 
nant set 
upon the 



and the 

victory of 


j Deut. 21. 
22. 23. 
Gal. 3. 13. 
Jno. 19. 31. 

k Deut. 27. 
Deut. 28. 

I Ex. 20. 25. 
cf. Rom. 4. 

he had destroyed under the ban all the inhabitants of 
Ai, Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel 
took as booty for themselves, according to the word of 
Jehovah which he had commanded Joshua. And 
Joshua burned Ai, and made it a heap forever, a desola- 
tion to this day. And the king of Ai he •'hanged upon 
a tree until the evening ; and at the going down of the 
sun, Joshua commanded, and they took down his car- 
cass from the tree, and cast it down at the entrance of 
the city, and raised over it a great heap of stones, 
[there] to this day. 

*Then Joshua built an * altar unto Jehovah, the God 
of Israel, in Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of Jeho- 
vah had commanded the children of Israel, as it was 
written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of 
whole stones upon which 'no iron had been lifted up; 
and they offered on it burnt-offerings to Jehovah, and 
sacrificed peace-offerings. And he wrote there on the 
stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in 
the presence of the children of Israel. And all Israel, 
and their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on 
this side and on that side of the ark before the priests 
the Levites, which bare the ark of Jehovah's covenant, 
the stranger as well as the home-born, half of them to- 
ward Mount Gerizim and half of them toward Mount 
Ebal, as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded 
to bless the people of Israel, at the beginning. And 
afterward he "* read all the words of the law, the bless- 
ing and the curse, according to all that is written in 
the book of the law. There was not a word of all that 
Moses commanded that Joshua read not before all the 
congregation of Israel, and the women and the little 
ones, and the strangers that went about among them. 


6. And it was so, when all the "kings heard [it] that 
were on this side Jordan, in the hill-country, and in the 
lowland, and on all the shore of the great sea, over 
against Lebanon, — the Hittite and the Amorite, the 
Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, 
that they gathered themselves together, to fight with 
Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. And the I 

(iii.) And now the seal of their covenant with Jehovah is set upon the land, 
according to Moses' commandment, an altar of whole stones being reared upon 
Mount Ebal, along with other great stones pla.stered, upon which the law was 
written. (Comp. Deut. xxvii.) The blessings were then read from Gerizim, the 
curses from Ebal. Thus the whole land was declared to be under the authority 
of the law, and sanctified to Jehovah. 

6. Hardly, however, is this accomplished before we are called again to see the 
incompetence of the hands which have just graven the law upon the stones of 
Ebal. The "wiles of the devil" are in Ephesians that against which we are 
especially called to "stand." Canaanitish wiles we find here prevailing against 
the people of God ; and once more the secret of failure is the lack of seeking 
guidance from God. 

m <if. Neh. 
8. 2-18. 

neh. 10. 1-5. 
<^. Ps. 83. 

o dr. ch.8.2. 
c/. Eph. 6. 

p cf. 2 Cor. 
11. 13-15. 

q dr. Deut. 
Neh. 9. 21. 

r Deut. 7. 2. 

9. 3-13. JOSHUA. 57 

inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to 
Jericho and to Ai; and they also did, in "subtlety, and 
went and made themselves ^ambassadors, and took old 
sacks upon their asses, and wine-skins, old and rent 
and bound up, and ''old shoes and patched upon their 
feet, and old clothes upon them ; and all the bread of 
their provision was dry, it had become mouldy. And 
they went to Joshua, unto the camp at Gilgal, and said 
unto him, and to the men of Israel, From a far country 
are we come; and now make a ''covenant with us. 
And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Perhaps 
ye dwell among us ; and how shall we make a covenant 
with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy 
servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? 
and whence come ye? And they said unto him. From 
a very far country are thy servants come, because of the 
name of Jehovah thy God ; for we have heard the fame 
of him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he 
did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond 
Jordan, — to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of 
Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth. And our elders, and 
all the inhabitants of our country, spake unto us, saying, 
Take provision in your hand for the way, and go to 
meet them, and say unto them. We are your servants: 
make, therefore, a covenant with us. This ' bread of ours 
we took hot for our provision out of our houses the day 
we came forth to meet you ; and now, behold, it is dry, 
and is become mouldy. And these wine-skins which 

How hard it is to learn aright the lesson of dependence upon God ! And our 
own wisdom, how contiaually does it deceive us ! It is the last thing perhaps 
to which we apply the cross. Yet it is plain that Satan, 'with his thousands of 
years of acquired knowledge, will have immeasurable advantage over us, 
except as revelation is adhered to, aud the Spirit of God gives us ability to use 
the point and edge of the Word. For " the sword of the Spirit" is not the 
" Word of God " exactly, but rather " the smjiyig of God." (Eph. vi. 17, Qk.) 
We must have, not the book merely, but the text : aud thus even the Lord, as a 
perfect example for us, met Satan in the wilderness. 

The Gibeouites are able to talk piously. They have a certain kind of faith 
grounded on Jehovah's miracles, and concede to the people of God their title to 
the land. They are friends, not foes, and seek alliance. They have come a 
long way (if they are to be believed) to seek it, have endured privations, and 
brought themselves to destitution. The evidences of this are not indeed in- 
fallible, but their profession is without a flaw, and Charity would accept it. This 
the Israelites do : Joshua aud the princes swear to them in Jehovah's name, and 
in three days find that they are dwellers in the land and Canaanites. 

Gained by deceit, must this covenant stand ? Yes, it must : for had Israel 
been with God, no deceit could have prevailed against them. And thus there 
are yokes which, though unequal, we cannot escape from. K we may without 
injustice to another, then indeed we are bound to do so ; as a matter of course, 
if the work for which we have yoked ourselves is itself evil. If I have married 
an unbeliever, the oath of the Lord forbids withdrawal from it ; and there may 
be in like manner business relations, from which, after having contracted them, 
simple righteousness would forbid us to withdraw. But the spiritual yoke, the 
yoking of believer and unbeliever in the things of the Lord, is what the words 

« Ex. 16. 14- 



9. 13-27. 

t Ex. 34. 12. 
ctr. 1 Sam. 
23. 10, 11. 

w c/.G}€n.40. 

V ch. 18. 2.5- 


w 2 Sam.21. 
qr. Gal. C. 7. 

we filled were new, and, behold, they are rent; and 
these our garmejits and our shoes have become old by 
reason of the great length of the journey. And the 
men 'took of their victuals, and did not inquire at the 
mouth of Jehovah. And Joshua made peace with them, 
and made a covenant with them, to let them live ; and 
the princes of the assembly sware unto them. 

And it came to pass, at the end of "three days, after 
they had made a covenant with them, that they heard 
that they were their neighbors, and dwelling in their 
midst. And the children of Israel journeyed and 
came unto their cities on the third day. Now their 
"cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and 
Kirjath-Jearim. And the children of Israel ""smote 
them not, because the princes of the assembly had 
sworn to them by Jehovah the God of Israel ; and all 
the assembly murmured against the princes. And all 
the princes said unto all the assembly, We have sworn 
unto them by Jehovah the God of Israel, and now we 
cannot touch them. This will we do unto them, and 
let them live, lest wrath be on us, because of the oath 
which we sware unto them. And the princes said unto 
them, Let them live; and let them be * hewers of wood 
and drawers of water for all the assembly: as the 
princes had spoken unto them. And Joshua called 
them, and spake unto them, saying, Why have ye de- 
ceived us, saying, We are very far off from you, when 
ye were dwelling among us ? And now ye are ^ cursed, 
and ye shall never cease to be bondmen, hewers of 
wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. 
And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was 
certainly told thy servants how that Jehovah thy God 
commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, 
and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from be- 
fore you ; and we feared greatly for our lives because of 
you, and have done this thing. And now, behold, we 
are in thy hand; as it seemeth good and right unto 
thee to do unto us, do. And he did so unto them, and 
delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, 
that they slew them not. And Joshua made them that 

of the apostle in the fullest way apply to (2 Cor. vi. 14-18) : " What fellowship 
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light 
with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath 
he that believeth with an unbeliever ? And what agreement hath the temple of 
God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God ; as God hath said, I 
will dwell in tliem, and walk in them ; and I will be their God, and they shall 
be My people. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, 
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you, and 
will be a Father to you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord 

Had the Gibeonites come openly as what they were, to subject themselves to 
Jehovah's yoke, they in whose camp Rahab was, with her whole family, could 
not have refused it ; but they came in craft, and though they may not be slain, 

X Jud. 1. 28, 
30, 33. 

y Gen. 9. 25. 

9. 27-10. 1. JOSHUA. 59 


1. (x-xl. 15.) 
The power 

Qf God. 
a (vv. 1-6.) 
A confed- 

z ctr. Gen. 
14. 18. 

day hewers of wood and drawers of water for tlje 
assembly, and for the altar of Jehovah, unto this day, 
in the place that he should choose. 

(X.— XII.) 

7. ^(a) And it was so, when 'Adonizedek king of Jeru- 
salem heard that Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly 
destroyed it, — as he had done to Jericho and her king, 

are subjected as bondmen to the service of the people of God, as hewers of 
wood and drawers of water for the sanctuary. So perforce must it be, thank 
God, that all must serve the glorious Lord we own : willingly or unwillingly, 
as free or bond, this is the only choice permitted : but how momentous are the 
issues of that choice ! 

7. Needful as are the lessons as to failure, the history as a whole is here full 
of abundant encouragement ; and the last part of the first division, upon which 
we now enter shows us the complete subjugation of the land under Israel's feet. 
The power of their enemies is prostrated, although it is true that at the end of 
it we still find that there is very much land to be possessed, — much even that in 
fact they never do possess. But the work that needs the combined power of all 
the tribes is accomplished. The rest is left to individual energy, such as is so 
strikingly illustrated for us in the case of Caleb. What he achieved might have 
been achieved by all the rest : the thing needed for it was simply what his name 
and his history expressed, — " whole-heartedness. " It was this which, as we are 
told, preserved in him to eighty-fi\e the strength of forty, and to see dispossessed 
before him the giant owners of the land he had explored. It was of God that 
there should be such testing, though the result might be to make the failure 
sorrowfully apparent, a failure only briefly indicated in the present book, while 
Judges treats of it from end to end. 

(i. ) The first section alone gives the history, the second simply summing up 
the general results. In the history the principal lesson is evident, that their 
power was wholly of God, who demonstrates it by what has seemed to many 
even disproportionate miracles ; but who can measure the magnitude of the 
necessity of what indeed ought to appear to us so simple a lesson ! It is the first 
and foundation one for the Ephesian conflict which we are tracing in type here, 
— to " be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." The grace of it 
in the illustration is seen in its coming after the sin of Achau and the failure as 
to the Gibeonites. Yet does it display itself unweakened, — never more gloriously 
divine. This is the power which has acted for us to make the land our own, 
and which is ready to act in us, if there he but faith in it. We need it as much 
as they did, for our warfare is ' ' not with flesh and blood, but with principalities 
and with powers, with the rulers of the darkness of this world, with spiritual 
wickedness in heavenly places." Yet of the meaning of this conflict even how 
many are not aware, who know it, as all must, but perceive not the object 
aimed at, to keep us out of the realization of our inheritance. Here we must 
remember the condition, " Every place that the sole of your feet shall tread on 
shall be your own." This is the need we have of an activity of faith which 
will call up to resist us all the power of Satan, and will make us prove the need 
we have of the " whole armor of God." 

(a) The enemies seldom appear single : they are a mighty confederacy, 
leagued together by a common hatred to God and to His people. Canaan swarms 
with kings, which, independent of each other and often at strife, make peace 
and common cause against the "hosts of the Lord." So the jarring forces of 
evil are compacted together by the presence of that which is of God ; and the 
first king of this company startles us with his evident apostasy : Adonizedek, 
"lord of righteousness," king of Jerusalem, "the foundation of peace," the 
awful mockery and antagonist to " that Melchizedek, King of Righteousness, 
King of Salem, that is, ' peace,' Priest of the Most High God, who met " Israel's 
forefather, "Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and Messed 

60 JOSHUA. 10. 1-3. 

so had he done to Ai and to her king, — and that the in- 
habitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and 
were among them, that they "feared greatly, because ach. 9. 24. 
Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and 
it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. 
And Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham 
king of ''Hebron, and to Piream king of Jarmuth, and 

him. ' ' In what striking contradiction, made so evil by the resemblance, is this 
mau and his attitude, an Antichrist (one might well say) to the true Mel- 
chizedek, the Christ of God ! Not that we are to suppose any special 
Antichrist here, which would seem unsuited, but rather that primitive type 
which is found in Satan, the adversary, wherever Satan is found, enmity working 
in disguise and by imitation, "as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses." He 
is " lord of righteousness, " as where on the ground of it, coming among the sous 
of God, he pleads against Job. And he is not "king o{ peace," as Christ is, 
but only of the ^^ foundation of peace," — which is righteousness again. 
(Is. xxxii. 17.) He can plead righteousness, but only against, not for men; 
therefore " priest of the Most High God " he is not : he is no saviour ; readily 
discovered by this fact. His darts are "fiery darts," flaming with wrath, and 
putting distance between the soul and God, while Christ's voice, even in the 
discovery of sin, wins to God ; Jle does not accuse, but is a refuge from the 
accuser. Therefore with the "shield of faith" shall we "quench all the fiery 
darts of the wicked one." 

The next named to Adonizedek in the confederacy which be heads is Hoham 
king of Hebron, a city which we already know in connection with Abraham's 
history, and b}"^ that most interesting note upon it upon occasion of the visit of 
the spies. Hebron, which according to its derivation speaks of companionship, 
stands throughout as the symbol of ' ' communion. ' ' But we have heard of it as 
iu the hands of the Anakim, and even in Genesis as the city of Arba, the father 
of them all. The Anakim are the "long-necked," giants in stature, and chil- 
dren of pride, of whom the vain-glorious boast is uttered, "Who can stand 
before the children of Anak ? " (Deut. ix. 2.) " Arba " is supposed by Fuerst to 
mean "hero of Baal," and this is accepted by many ; but it seems too purely 
conjectural ; while the word is common Hebrew for the numeral four, which has 
more easily the significance of "square, four-square," suited to the father of a 
giant race. That the number four is that also of the creature, and of weakness, 
is in no wise against this, but a divine comment on the other side. It is upon 
what is loftiest in nature that God puts the mark of nothingness and abases it. 

Hebron is thus dedicated to mau woi-ship, the utter destruction of its true 
character ; and the Hoham here is king but of the Anakite Hebron, where the 
enemy has massed his strongest force to keep out of it its divinely appointed 
possessors. The meaning of "Hoham " is variously given, but the last syllable 
has the same root idea with our similarly formed " hum," the confusion of sound 
as in the noise of a multitude, and from which it is transferred to the multitude 
itself The first syllable seems most naturally to be abbreviated from hovah, 
another form of havvah, which speaks of " a sinking of the mind into a corrupt, 
depraved state, iuto a gulf of lusts and insatiable desire." {Wilson.) These two 
thoughts are certainly completely opposed to that of Hebron, most suitable 
therefore, to its Anakite usurpation. Hebron figures largely iu the re^wrt of the 
spies, — largely again in the conquest of the land,— and we might expect its 
Canaanite king to figure in the resistance to its conquerors. Certainly we may 
expect that Satan will keep us off if possible from that communion with God iu 
an enjoyed heavenly portion which Hebron represents to us ; and that iu no way 
could he better succeed than by stirring up iu us that tumult of desires which 
are veritaljle sons of Anak, only to be subdued by such a spirit of " whole- 
hearteduess" for God as was found in Caleb. 

The third of these confederates is Piream king of Jarmuth ; and as to neither 

la 3-6. 



to Japhia king of "Lachish, and to Debir king of "^Eglon, c ver. 31. 
saying, Co'me up to me, and help me, and let us smite a ver. 34. 
Gibeon, because it hath made peace with Joshua and 
with the children of Israel. And they gathered together 
and went up, five kings of the Amorites — the king of 
Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, 
the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, — they and all 
their hosts, and encamped against Gibeon, and made 
war upon it. And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua, 
to the camp, to Gilgal, saying. Slack not thy hand from 

of these names does there seem much dispute. Jarmuth signifies elevation ; 
Piream is from pere, the wild ass. The latter is what mau is born as (Job xi. 12), 
aud it is his obstacle to finding wisdom. Free and independent, he brooks no 
yoke nor restraining hand. Nebuchadnezzar, forgetting in the pride of his 
heart Him who had raised him up, " was driven from the sons of men, aud his 
heart was make like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses" 
(Dan. V. 21), — he was made to take his place with those which his moral state 
resembled. This may throw light upon the connection of the two names here, 
— the wild-ass king and his city of "elevation." Thus, "man being in honor 
abideth not : he is like the beasts that perish." (Ps. xlix. 12.) He who can 
abide is the one who recognizes and is subject to the hand that raised him. How 
completely does the glorious place that God has given us declare that such 
exaltation is of His grace alone ! how simply, then, as owing all to His love 
should we act as in that place ! 

Japhia king of Lachish is the fourth confederate. Lachish is again a difficult 
word. Gesenius from the Arabic gathers the meaning "obstinate," as referring 
to its impregnability to assault. Young makes it similar to Jarmuth — 
' ' height ; ' ' but he has at least twelve other names of Israelitish cities translated 
in the same way : we may well suppose there is some dilference of meaning 
among so many different words. In Hebrew we can only find a meaning, as it 
would seem, by dividing it. Lach-ish may then mean "walk (as) men." In 
fact Lachish stood longer than most cities of the land against Joshua, though 
not long ; for it was taken the second day. 

Japhia corresponds with his city : his name means ' ' shining, resplendent. ' ' 
In the world at large the manly virtues are thus lustrous ; but there is manifest 
danger when shining qualities are prized as such. When lustre is king then the 
king is surely Canaanite. Lachish comes thus into the confederacy against 
Joshua, and is not the least among the enemies of Israel. A world of show and 
splendor is such "darkness" for the people of God as the "principalities and 
powers ' ' which are ' ' rulers of " it love to work with. Dazzle is easily read as 
darkness : and alas ! the children of God can both be dazzled, and love to 
dazzle. Eyes that see the glory of God are alone strong enough to meet the 
resplendent king of Lachish. 

So far, then, we can realize meaning in these confederate kings. It will be 
seen too that they answer exactly to the numerical significance of their order, 
which is a test one could hardly have insisted on perhaps in this case. That they 
should so answer may encourage us to a closer and more complete application of 
the symbolism of numbers, which ought thus to be proportionately more fruitful. 
When we come now to the fifth of these confederate powers we shall need to 
avail oui-selves of it, as we shall find here a deeper mystery facing us, — and 
even this is accordant with the numerical place. 

The names, happily, are here simple. Grod has planted stepping stones firmly 
for us to prevent slipping, according to His constant mercy. First, " Eglon " is 
" round " or "circular," its root-meaning showing applicability either to form or 
motion. Thus the derivatives from it are words such as agil, "ring ;" agalah, 
"chariot," "cart," — which, as moving on its circular, revolving wheels, com- 

6 (7-11; 


62 JOSHUA. 10. 6-8. 

thy servants ; come up to us quickly, and save us, and 
help us : for all the kings of the Araorites that dwell in 
the hill-country are gathered together against us. 

(6) So Joshua went up from Gilgal, — he and all the peo- 
ple of war with him, even all the men of valor. And 
Jehovah said unto Joshua, 'Fear them not, for I have 

liiues form aud motion ; and from this, maagalah, the roadway for these wheels ; 
(julgal is the ordinary word for wheel, nearly identical with the Gilgal we have 
met before ; gal is billow, wave ; and so on. 

How are we to take it here ? The town very likely was circular, and it may 
have derived its name from this ; but as in the wheel form implies motion, so 
may it be spiritually in this case. Indeed, the wheel itself is found in the 
visions of Ezekiel as that of the chariot of Deity, a prominent symbol in con- 
nection with the divine government. Five, the number attaching here to 
Eglon, {s, let us now remember, the symbol of God's governmental ways ! 

In the book of Ecclesiastes we find the wheel in motion, but that it is the 
wheel of God's triumphal chariot is not seen. On the contrary, "vanity of 
vanities ' ' is inscribed uijon it ; and that God has ordained the wheel is the 
cause of infinite perplexity. "One generation passeth away, and another 
cometh ; but the earth abideth forever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth 
down, aud hasteth to his place whence he arose. The wind goeth toward the 
south, and turueth about unto the north : it whirleth about continually : and 
the wind returueth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the 
sea ; yet the sea is not full : unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither 
they return again. . . . The thing that hath been is that which shall be ; and 
that which is done is that which shall be done ; and there is nothing new under 
the sun." 

Thus ' ' to every thing there is a season, ' ' and a season only ; but the generations 
pass, and do not return : if they do, experience, at least, knows nothing about 
it ; and thus the bat's winp: of death throws its sombre and sinister shadow over 
every thing: beyond, "who knoweth?" Here God, who is light, can alone 
give light ; and revelation is our one source of certainty. Then, indeed, still 
the wheel turns ; but the wheel of destiny becomes the chariot-wheel of God, as 
in Ezekiel. 

Now there is purpose in it, — a double purpose : man is abased, God glorified. 
Man needs abasement, and divine goodness has ordained it ; otherwise that 
would be fulfilled which the psalmist declares, "Because they have no changes, 
therefore they fear not God." (Ps. Iv. 19.) But for man, too, there is a resurrec- 
tion, not within the cycle of change, but beyond it; and "he that humbleth 
himself" to accept God's lesson, turning to Him thus, "shall be exalted." 

Eglon speaks, I doubt not, of this wheel of destiny, which by its mystery 
exercises so man's heart, and which, while it has its good, and is meant for 
good, can yet bring out the rebellion that is in it, and urge mau also to all 
kinds of secret arts to discover the mystery. From the heathen oracle of old to 
the Spiritism and theosophy of modern times Satan has used this craving of 
man to enthral him in the bonds of superstition and slavish dread, or to lure 
him by the fa.scination of unearthly spectacles. Thus Debir is the true king of 
Eglon: for "Debir" on the one hand may mean "speaker," while on the 
other it is the word used for "oracle" of the temple, out of which the voice of 
God was to be heard. Here indeed Debir has no evil sense. God has responded 
to the need of man in view of the mystery of existence, as we know , but there 
are Canaauite "debirs," and satanic mockeries of the divine answer. And 
thus we find the fifth confederate against Israel in the scene before us. 

(6) It is not indeed directly against Israel that they gather, but against 
Gibeon which has made peace with Israel. Satan often, as it were, sidles up to 
the attack. Gibeon, false all round, may well provoke the onslaught of the 

c (12-15.) 

Signs iu the 


/ Ex. 9. 22- 

g Jud. 5. 20. 
Hab. 3. U. 
ch. 19. 42. 

10. 8-13. JOSHUA. 63 

given them into thy hand ; there shall not a man of 
them stand before thee. And Joshua came upon them 
suddenly : he went up from Gilgal all the night. And 
Jehovah discomfited them before Israel ; and he smote 
them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued 
them the way of the ascent of Beth-horon, and smote 
them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. And it was so, 
as they fled from before Israel, (they were at the de- 
scent of Beth-horon,) that Jehovah cast down on them 
great ■''stones from heaven as far as Azekah, and they 
died : more died of the hailstones than the children of 
Israel slew with the sword. 

(c) Then spake Joshua to Jehovah, in the day that 
Jehovah gave up the Amorite before the children of 
Israel, and said in the sight of Israel, Sun, ''stand thou 
still over Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of 
Ajalon ! And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed 
until the nation had avenged themselves upon their 
enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar? 

' ' lord of righteousness ; ' ' but Joshua, remembering the oath of the Lord, 
comes up against the Canaauite host with haste, and smites them with a great 
slaughter, pursuing them the way of Beth-horon (the "place of wi'ath "), as far 
as Azekah ("fencing round") and Makkedah ("bowing the head"). Thus 
(iod puts to defeat His enemies, and they are as cattle iu the hands of the 
slaughterer. Beth-horon proves its title by the fall there of a great hail from 
heaven, slaying more than the swords of the Israelites. 

(c) And here occurs the notable miracle which has awakened so much discus- 
sion and provoked so much the scorn of unbelief The language of Scripture 
being so purely phenomenal every where, — dealing with things as they appear 
to us, rather than with the scientific explanation, — I see no reason for any 
actual stoppage of the sun and moon, which must in that case be rather of the 
earth's own revolution, and so not literally according to the description after all. 
The economy of miracle which the Bible shows to one who attentively considers 
it, notwithstanding the large actual amount, would suggest that, for the purpose 
Joshua desires to have accomplished, the extreme supposition need hardly be 
the fact. For him and for all beholdera the sun and moon did actuallj' stop, 
and that is all that the words fairly taken imply ; and the miracle is mighty 
enough, if it were accomplished by means of refraction or mirage or what not : 
it is not worth the labor to speculate upon how it might be done. Whatever 
the means that might be used, the day stands alone in the world's history, — 
surely miracle enough. And there is no tampering with the record involved in 
this, no trifiiug with revelation, no giving way in the least to the infidelity of 
the day. It is to us the sun rises or sets, as to them it stood still in the heavens : 
why should language be pressed in the one case in a way which would be 
admitted to be straining it in the other ? * 

The spiritual lesson more concerns us here, and this seems to be the manifes- 
tation of divine power as acting for Israel. Sun and moon were both worshiped 
in many forms by the nations around them, Baal and Ashtoreth standing for 

*The author of "Joshua's Long Day" believes, however, that he has demonstrated by the 
double aid of astrouomy and chronology, the occurrence of the miracle in the full extent 
which many give it. But this involves a chronology from the creation of man exact to the 
very hour ; a precision it can hardly be hoped even ever to attain. According to his view 
also the moon could not have been visible in the p>osition indicated, and Joshua must have 
addressed what was to all observers but a blank spot in the heavens ! This, although Joshua 
spake, it is said, "in the sight of Israel,"— evidently Implying that the objects of his address 
were before their eves. 



10. 13-23. 

d (16-21.) 
The enemy 

e (22-27.) 



And the sun stood in the midst of the heavens, and 
hasted not to go down about a full day. And there was 
no day like that before it or after it, in which Jehovah 
hearkened to the voice of a man; for Jehovah * fought 
for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with 
him, unto the camp, to 'Gilgal. 

(d) And those five kings fled, and hid themselves in 
the ^ cave at Makkedah. And it was told Joshua, say- 
ing. The five kings are found hid in the cave at Mak- 
kedah. And Joshua said. Roll great stones unto the 
mouth of the cave ; and set men by it, to keep them ; 
and ye, stay not, pursue after your enemies, and cut off" 
their rear; suffer them not to enter into their cities: 
for Jehovah your God hath given them into your hand. 
And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of 
Israel had made an end of smiting them with a very 
great slaughter till they Avere consumed, and the rem- 
nant of them that remained had entered into fortified 
cities, that all the people returned unto the camp, to 
Joshua at Makkedah, in peace : none moved his * tongue 
against the children of Israel. 

(e) And Joshua said. Open the mouth of the cave, 
and bring forth to me those five kings out of the cave. 
And they did so, and brought forth unto him those five 
kings out of the cave — the king of Jerusalem, the king 

h Ex. 14. 14. 

t ch. 10. 43. 
ver. 7. 
cf. 2 Cor. 4. 

j tfJaa.G.2. 

k Ex. 11. 7. 
cf. 2 Cor. Z. 

them respectively among the Canaanite population. Hence Israel's God was 
proclaimed here to be "God of gods." The very deities of Canaan lengthened 
the day to accomplish their destruction ! as indeed they had in every generation 
been the destruction of their worshipers. But Israel warred not in their own 
strength, and it was not their right hand saved them. If they or their enemies 
imagined this, the significance of their victories was wholly lost and turned to 
the glorification of man." Hebron could never in this way have been redeemed 
from the Anakitn, but would have been Kirjath-aiba still. Lachish would have 
kept its resplendent Japhia ; and Eglon's wheel have revolved but to grind out 
"vanity of vanities." So important is it that Israel's victories should be 
seen not as their own but God's ! 

But then how wonderful to be leagued with supreme and omnipotent power ! 
Should not sun and moon standing still impress this upon ns ? How can it be 
suflSciently emphasized for us that it is really Jehovah who fights for Israel ? All 
this magnificent blazonry upon the face of the heavens to convey to us what 
appears perhaps so simple a truth ! The need, then, of the lesson must be great 
indeed, and hard it must be to raise to its proper height the enthusiasm of 
the Lord's host for the banner they fight under ! a banner not to be dishonored 
by cowardice or half-hearted uess or fleshly confidence. The quotation from the 
book of Jasliar fittingly therefore is a song ; and the appeal is to the joyful 
experience of the " upright " (Jashar). Songs like these are easily rememljered : 
the heart retains what it has welcomed in this way. 

(d) "We have to see that the victory that the Lord has gained is followed up, 
and that the foe is not merely in retreat, but in rout. Many a victory has been 
lost by slackness of pursuit. The enemy must be pursued to his stronghold ; 
and after all may escape. 

(e) But the kings are in the caves of Makkedah. Now they are brought forth 
and judgment executed upon them. Our spiritual foes cannot indeed be slain 
as yet ; and this is but the anticipation of faith : a picture such as we have seen 

10. 23-28. 



/ (28-13.) 

; 2 Sam. 22. 

HI ch. 1. 18. 
ch. 23. 6. 

ver. 18. 
ch. 15. 4. 

of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, 
the king of Eglon. And it was so, when they brought 
forth those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called all 
the men of Israel, and said unto the chiefs of the men 
of war that went with him. Draw near, [and] put your 
feet upon the ' necks of these kings ; and they drew 
near, and put their feet upon their necks. And Joshua 
said unto them, "'Fear not, nor be dismayed; be strong, 
and of good courage ; for thus will Jehovah do unto all 
your enemies against whom ye fight. And afterward 
Joshua smote them and put them to death, and hanged 
them upon five trees ; and they were hanging upon the 
trees "until the evening. And it came to pass that at 
the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded, and 
they took them down from off the trees, and cast them 
into the cave where they had been hid, and placed 
great stones at the mouth of the cave, [there] unto this 
very day. 

(/) And Joshua took "Makkedah on that day, and 
smote it with the edge of the sword, and its king: he 
executed the ban upon them, even all the souls that 
were therein : he left no remnant ; and he did unto the 
king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. 

in the case of Jericho. Faith can pass its judgment upon them, foreseeing the 
divine one that shall be : branding them thus with their infamy. 

It is a great thing to know enough to call Satan Satan ; and to meet him 
with the assurance of with whom we are contending ; to draw him forth from 
the darkness of the cave in which he may have taken refuge, and, in the light of 
day, convict and put him under the doom that awaits him. 

(/) And now the strongholds yield, one by one. Six cities are marked 
especially here, exactly in the midst of which we find the attack and destruc- 
tion of the king of Gezer. The series in this way becomes a septenary one, and 
the first four a 3+1, after the usual manner : three cities taken and one army 
destroyed. By such slight yet sufficient indications is the structure of a part 
made known to us. 

The cities taken are not to be looked at simply as strongholds of the enemy. 
They belong by the gift of God to Israel, and many of them figure afterward in 
Israel's history : hence what they signify for us is of the more importance. 
Their meanings too will be essentially good, as we see in Hebron, which is called 
by this name continually, although to the Canaanites it was Kirjath-arba. 
Indeed, in general, the Canaanite possessors are of little account, except as 
hindrance to the true heirs, and their names even in most cases are not recorded. 
Nor are there here details given of the assault, nor any account save of the 
extirpation of the inhabitants. The names of the acquired cities seem to be 
alone significant. 

The first is Makkedah, "bowing the head." It is the place where we have 
seen the five kings were forced to bow those proud Amorite heads which only 
divine power could humble. As an Israelite habitation it has a better significance, 
and as its place in this series may denote, the thing itself is a choice blessing and 
leading to many others. How good when the stift neck first gives way, and 
man the rebel is subdued to allegiance ! when God becomes God indeed, and 
man too, as he abases himself, rises from the level of the beast to real manhood. 
The use of the word is in connection with homage — the owning of a superior, 
though not always God. And Canaan, which sets forth the highest — heavenly— 



10. 29-33. 

p ch. 15. 42. 
ch. 21. 13. 

q ch. 10. 3. 
cb. 15. 39. 

And Joshua passed, and all Israel with him, from 
Makkedah to^Libnah, and fought against Libnah; and 
Jehovah gave it also and its king into the hand of 
Israel, and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and 
all the souls that were therein ; he left no remnant in it : 
and did unto its king as he had ^one to the king of 

And Joshua passed, and all Israel with him, from 
Libnah unto 'Lachish, and encamped against it, and 
fought against it; and Jehovah gave Lachish into 
Israel's hand, and he took it on the second day, and 
smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls 
that were therein, according to all that he had done to 
Libnah, Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help 
Lachish ; and Joshua smote him and his people, till he 
left him not a remnant. 

blessing, is just the place where Ave should find this acknowledgment constant 
and complete. Nearness to God produces of necessity, and may be measured by, 
the filial fear of Him and submission to Him. In Ephesians it is that God's 
will is emphasized in the strongest way. 

The second city is Libnah, "whiteness:" which, read spiritually, and in 
connection with its numerical place, we may take as " separation from evil." Its 
following subjection to God guards it from pharisaism, and defines it according 
to the Word, a measure of evil much less observed among the people of God than 
is supposed; simple morality or popular conscience governing everywhere the 
mass. In their associations for benevolent, moral , and even religious purposes, 
how mauy permit themselves the greatest license that can be imagined, and on 
public platforms the friends and the enemies of Christ are found commonly to- 
gether. Nay, as in Masonic lodges, for instance, they can even exclude Christ, 
that " good " fellowsbij) may not be hindered. Libnah has, in fact, few citizens 
in the Israel of to-day. 

The third city is Lachish, which we have seen under its Canaanitish king al- 
ready, but Avhich we have now to see as a possession of Israel. In this sense, 
and in its numerical place here, the spiritual application is easy. The number 
is that of resurrection; it is a city of the land beyond Jordan, the heavenly 
country: how else, then, can this "walk as men," which is the meaning of 
" Lachish," read but as " walk as in the risen Man, — not as of the world, but 
as heavenly, as Christ is " ? 

Thus the three cities here connect naturally in meaning, and at the same time 
fill their numerical place, while they develop in fullness and positiveness as they 
go on. But in the fourth place in this series, as usual under that number, we 
find what is not in the order of progression hitherto, but distinct and peculiar. 
Horara king of Gezer comes up to assist Lachish, and is smitten, — he and his 
people ; but there is no taking of his city at this time. In fact, the Canaanites 
were not really expelled from it till Solomon's reign, and by that the city seems 
to have lapsed into separation from Israel. For it is Pharaoh king of Egypt who 
takes it then, and gives it to his daughter, Solomon's wife. 

"Gezer" means a place "isolated," or "cut off." "Horam," according to 
its apparent derivation, most literally would mean "tumid, swollen." May not 
this speak of the pride of man's nature, which, maintaining itself in independ- 
ence, refuses the judgment of the first Adam, even though it be for exaltation 'in 
the Second ? Certainly this is no fictitious antagonist of Joshua, or of Israel in 
our day at least, and Lachish, the "walk as men," is still hotly contended for in 
behalf of the Canaanites, ignoring God's true Man, in whom all believers have a 
common place. 

10. 34-43. 



r ver. 3. 
ch. 15. 39. 

s ver. 3. 
ch. 15. 13. 

l ch. 12. 13. 
ch. 15.7-13. 

And Joshua passed, and all Israel with him, from 
Lachish to " Eglon ; and they encamped against it, and 
fought against it ; and they took it on that day, and 
smote it with the edge of the sword; and on all the 
souls that were therein he executed the ban that day, 
according to all that he had done to Lachish. 

And Joshua went up, and all Israel with him, from 
Eglon unto 'Hebron, and they fought against it; and 
they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, 
and the king of it, and its cities, and all the souls that 
were therein : he left no remnant, according to all that 
he had done to Eglon ; and he executed the ban on it, 
and on all the souls that were therein. 

And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to 
'Debir, and fought against it; and he took it, and the 
king of it, and all its cities ; and they smote them Math 
the edge of the sword, and executed the ban on all the 
souls that were therein : he left no remnant ; as he had 
done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and to its king, as 
he had done also to Libnah and to its king. 

So Joshua smote all the land, the hill-country, and 
the "south, and the lowland, and the slopes, and all 
their kings ; he left not a remnant, but executed the 
ban upon all that breathed, as Jehovah the God of 
Israel commanded. And Joshua smote them from 
Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the land of 
Goshen even unto Gibeon. And all these kings and 
their land did Joshua take at one time ; for Jehovah 
the God of Israel fought for Israel. And Joshua 

In the allotment of the land, Grezer falls to Ephraim as a Levitical city of the 
family of Kohath, and in this differs again from the other cities named here, 
whether before or after, which are given to Judah. The enumeration of them 
now proceeds, Eglon filling the fifth place, as in the list of the confederate kings. 
We have seen already of what it sjieaks to us, and may easily perceive now how 
it connects with Horam and with Lachish. The wheel of destiny finds its place 
in the chariot of God's providence when Eglon is subdued by Israel, and the 
humiliation of man's changes gives us profitable exercise, but is no hopeless, no 
impenetrable mystery any longer. 

Hebron comes next, and with its meaning we are quite familiar; but it fills 
another place from that we might expect, — the sixth instead of the second; for, 
as following Eglon, it shows us communion maintained amid all changes, which 
are but the fruitful discipline which is ordained "for our profit, that we might 
be partakers of His holiness. ' ' What is this — to be partakers of His holiness 
— but to be in practical communion with Himself? 

Debir, therefore, ends this series, — ^the name that before we found attached to 
the king of Eglon, but which here is that of an Israelitish city: a wonderfully 
blessed name to end with, speaking as it does of the dwelling with man of Him 
who, if He be nigh, cannot be mute; whose voice has answered faith's question- 
ing wherever faith has been, — yea, gone before to win men to Himself How 
well the numerical place suits here ! It is the voice that spake once openly to 
the winds and seas, and hushed them; and which gives rest still, whatever be 
the cause of trouble. 

These are all the cities specified here, and of course for a special purpose. It 
is added to this now that Joshua took all the land (connected with these cities) — 



10. 23-11. 1-6. 

g (xi. 1-15.) 
The end 

V ch. 14. 6. 
ch. 10. 16. 

w Jud. 4. 1. 
ch. 10. 1. 

returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to 
* Gilgal. 

{g) And it came to pass, when ""Jabin the king of 
Hazor heard thereof, that he sent to Jobab king of 
Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of 
Achshaph, and to the kings that were northward in the 
hill-country, and in the Ai-abah south of Chinneroth, 
and in the lowland, and on the upland of Dor seaward, 
to the Canaanite toward the [sun] rise and toward the 
sea, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Per- 
izzite, and the Jebusite in the hill-country, and to the 
Hivite beneath Hermon in the land of Mizpah. And 
they went out, — they and all their hosts with them, a 
people many as the sand that is on the sea-shore for 
multitude, with horses and chariots very many. And 
all these kings met together, and came and encamped 
together at the waters of Merom, to fight with Israel. 
And Jehovah said unto Joshua, Fear them not; for 
to-morrow about this time will I give them all up slain 

the southern part of Canaan. ' ' And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, 
to the camp at Gilgal." 

{g) The northern part of the land remained yet unconqnered. Excited and 
alarmed by the ruin that had come upon their kindred tribes, the kings of the 
north now gather together in a vast confederacy, of which the Spirit of God 
points out, however, only four, and names but two. Jabin king of Hazor is the 
leader now, Hazor being the head of all these kingdoms. ' ' Hazor ' ' means ' ' in- 
closed; " "Jabin," "discerning." The city was strong in its defenses and in 
the wisdom of its king. The only other king whose name is given is Jobab, the 
"shouter," whose city is Madon, "conteution." There seems no reason to 
doubt of these meanings. But what, then, do they represent ? It would cer- 
tainly seem that Jabin was the Sihon of this side Jordan, — the human wisdom 
■which would intrude itself into the things of God, always hostile to faith and to 
God, and which always has its " inclosure " within which it permits neither the 
one nor the other. There is a charmed circle of science to-day which is thus 
agnostic, and from which it has made raids upon Scripture in the shape of 
"higher criticism." This is only illustration; but the rational spirit is one 
from which in all time — never, perhaps, more than now — Christians have suf- 
fered, and by which they have been deprived of much of the good land God has 
called them to possess. That it allies itself often with the spirit of strife which 
exalts mere noise rather than reason, is not diflScult to see, and may be the 
meaning of Jobab'a place here. Reason alone would soon have to submit to 
faith as to what is highest reason, if it were not for this. To these the king of 
Shimron— "keeping," from a word which is the common one used for the 
keeping of law, adds the thought of a spirit of legality, which readily unites 
with the reasoning of unbelief; while the king of Achshaph— "sorcery," sup- 
plementing the whole, speaks of the deep satanic spell which works with all this 
to give it a power that after all without it would be unintelligible srill. " Who 
hath bewitched you," the apostle asks of the Galatians, "that ye should not 
obey the truth ? " 

These are the leaders ; with them is gathered a multitudinous host of other 
powers less precisely marked, and which we cannot attempt to particularize. 
They gather at the waters of Merom, "the high place; " and with such enemies 
are not the highest levels of truth just what they would lay hold upon and de- 
prive us of first of all ? For what is highest is for that reason what mere reason 
can least grasp, and legality least believe our portion, and Satan envy us most. 

11. 6-15. 



xDeut. 11.4. 
Jud. I. 19. 
2 Kings 23. 
Ps. 46. 9. 

y ch. 1. 7. 

before Israel ; and thou shalt hamstring their horses 
and burn their * chariots in the fire. And Joshua, and 
all the people of war with him, came upon them at the 
waters of Merom suddenly, and fell upon them. And 
Jehovah gave them into Israel's hand ; and they smote 
them, and pui-sued them as far as great Zidon, and as 
far as Misrephoth-maim, and as far as the valley of 
Mizpah toward the sunrise ; and they smote them till 
they left them not a remnant. And Joshua did unto 
them as Jehovah had said unto him : he hamstrung 
their horses and burnt their chariots in the fire. 

And Joshua returned at that time, and took Hazor, 
and smote the king of it with the sword ; for Hazor 
was beforetime the head of all those kingdoms. And 
they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge 
of the sword, executing the ban on them : there was 
none left that breathed ; and he burnt Hazor with fire. 
And all the cities of those kings and all their kings did 
Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the 
sword, executing the ban on them, " as Moses the serv- 
ant of Jehovah had commanded. Only all the cities 
that stood still upon their mounds Israel did not burn, 
save Hazor, that alone Joshua burnt. And all the spoil 
of these cities and the cattle the children of Israel 
took for a prey unto themselves ; but all the men they 
smote with the edge of the sword until they had 
destroyed them; they left none that breathed. As 
Jehovah had commanded his servant Moses, so did 
Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua: he let 
nothing fail of all that Jehovah had commanded Moses. 

Bat Joshna, with the energy of faith, and specially encouraged by the divine 
assurauce, falls upon them there, and inflicts upon them an overwhelming defeat, 
Israel pursuing them as far as Zidou and Misrephoth-iuaim. and east into the 
Lebanon-valley (?). They hamstring their horses and burn their chariots in the 
fire ; for if "some trust in chariots and some in horses," they are to "remember 
the name of Jehovah their God." (Ps. xx. 7.) 

Joshna then turns back to smite Hazor. "God will in no wise allow the 
world's seat of power to become that of His people ; lor His people depend ex- 
clusively on Him. The natural consequence of taking Hazor would have been 
to make it the seat of government, and a centre of influence in the government 
of God, so that this city should be that for God which it had been lor the world ; 
'for Hazor belbre-time was the head of all those kingdoms.' But it was just 
the contrary. Hazor is totally destroyed. God will not leave a vestige ol former 
power : He will make all things new. The centre and source of power must be 
His, — entirely and conclu.sively His : a very important lesson tor His chil- 
dren, if they would preserve their spiritual integrity." (Synooiis, vol. i., 
p. 370, 371.) 

The Word of God governs every thing for Joshua, and all that he does 
prospers. How needed a les-son, amid the constant temptations to self-will ! It 
is precisely to obtain success that we are urged to adopt all sorts of unscriptnral 
methods. Expediency is the constant plea for latitudinarianism. — a plea than 
which nothing could be more foolish : as if to depart Irom God's way would 
insure His blessing. " As Jehovah commanded His servant Moses, so did Moses 
command Joshua ; and so did Joshua : he let nothing fail of all that Jehovah 



11. 16-12. 1. 

The sum of 


^ So Joshua took all that land, the hill-country and all 
the south, and all the land of Goshen, and the lowland, 
and the Arabah, and the hill-country of Israel, and its 
lowland, ft-om the "^ smooth mountain that rises toward 
Seir as far as Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon beneath 
Mount Hermon ; and all their kings he took, and smote 
them, and put them to death. Joshua made war a long 
time on all these kings. There was not a city that 
made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites 
who dwelt in "Gibeon: they took all in battle. For it 
was of Jehovah, the 'hardening of their hearts to meet 
Israel in battle, that the ban might be executed on 
them, that no favor might be shown them, but that they 
might be destroyed, as Jehovah had commanded Moses. 

And Joshua came at that time, and cut off the "Anakim 
from the hill-country, from Hebron, from Debir, from 
Anab, from all the hill-countiy of Judah, and from all 
the hill-country of Israel : Joshua executed the ban 
upon them with their cities. There were none of the 
Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel ; only 
in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained. And 
Joshua took the "^ whole land according to all that Je- 
hovah had spoken unto Moses ; and Joshua gave it for 
an inheritance unto Israel, according to their divisions 
by their tribes. And the land "rested from war. 

And these are the kings of the land which the children 
of Israel smote, and of whose land they took posses- 

z ch. 12. 7. 

a ch.9.3,etc. 

6 Ex. 4. 21. 
Deut. 2. 30. 

c Num. 13. 

Deut. 9. 2. 

d ch. 1. 3. 
ef. 1 Cor. 3. 

22, 23. 

e ch. 14. 15. 
cf. 2 Tim. 
4. 7, 8 with 
Phil. 3. 13, 

had commanded Moses." So according to the Word of Gk)d does our Joshua 
lead to-day. May we follow Him ! 

(ii.) The results are now summed up : the land within its limits for the time, 
from Mount Halak, the "smooth " or bald mountain bordering Seir upon the 
south, to Baal-gad, under Mount Hermon, in the north. Not a city except 
Gibeou that yielded itself to God : all were taken in battle. This was the eflfect 
of God's retributive justice, making the hearts firm in resistance to Israel's 
power that had shut themselves up against the God of Israel. Thus they met 
the judgment rightly decreed upon them. 

The extirpation of the Anakim is specially recorded, and with reference once 
more to the seats of their power, Hebron and Debir, a connection so important 
that we are reminded of it again and again. Communion and the living voice 
of God. all the power of the enemy will be indeed employed to keep us from 
the realization of these. Both of these cities in Anakite hands, let us remem- 
ber, had very different significance : they were Kirjath-arba and Kirjath-sepher, 
the city of man and of books respectively ; we are soon to have their capture, 
by Caleb and Othniel, related to us. Yet the children of Anak are not wholly 
destroyed : there are some left in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, cities still held 
by the Philistines ; and there we find them at a later time. AH this has 
meaning, not obscure, if we consider who these Philistines are : their history 
is elsewhere. (Gen. xx., xxvi., notes.) 

Now the land rests from war. 

The enumeration follows of the kings dispossessed and slain on both sides of 
the river, by Moses and by Joshua. 

12. JOSHUA. 

sion, across Jordan toward the ■''sunrising, from the river 
Arnon unto Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah toward 
the [sun]rising: — ^Sihon king of the Amorites who 
dwelt at Heshbon, ruling from Aroer which is on the 
bank of the brook Arnon, and from the middle of the 
ravine, and over half Gilead, as far as the brook Jabbok, 
the border of the children of Ammon ; and the Arabah, 
as far as the sea of Chinneroth toward the [sun] rise, 
and as far as the sea of the Arabah, the salt sea, toward 
the [sun] rise, the way of Beth-jeshimoth, and southward 
under the slopes of Pisgah; and the territory of *0g 
king of Bashan, of the remnant of the Rephaim who 
dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, and ruled over Mount 
Hermon, and over Salcah, and over all Bashan, as far 
as the border of the Geshurites and of the Maachathites, 
and [over] half Gilead, as far as the border of Sihon 
king of Heshbon. Moses the servant of Jehovah and 
the children of Israel smote them ; and Moses the serv- 
ant of Jehovah gave it for a possession to the Reuben- 
ites and to the Gadites and to half the tribe of Manasseh. 

And these are the kings of the land which Joshua 
and the children of Israel smote, on this side Jordan 
seaward, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon as far 
as the smooth mountain that rises toward Seir. And 
Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel for a possession 
according to their divisions, in the hill-country, and 
in the lowland, and in the Arabah, and on the slopes, 
and in the wilderness, and in the south, — the Hittite, 
the Amorite, and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the 
Hivite, and the Jebusite: — 

The king of 'Jericho, one; the king of ■'Ai, which is 
beside Bethel, one; the king of 'Jerusalem, one; the 
king of 'Hebron, one; the king of Jarmuth, one; the 
king of '"Lachish, one; the king of "Eglon, one; the 
king of "Gezer, one; the king of^Debir, one; the king 
of Geder, one; "the king of Hormah, one; the king of 
Arad, one; the king of 'Libnah, one; the king of Adul- 
1am, one; the king of ""Makkedah, one; the king of 
Bethel, one; the king of Tappuah, one; the king of 
Hepher, one; the king of Aphek, one; the king of 
Lasharon, one; the king of Madon, one; the king of 
'Hazor, one; the king of Shimron-merou, one; the 
king of Achshaph, one; the king of Taanach, one; the 
king of Megiddo, one; the king of Kedesh, one; the 
king of Jokneam on Carmel, one ; the king of Dor, in 
the upland of Dor, one; the king of Goim at Gilgal, 
one; the king of Tirzah, one: all the kings, thirty 
and one. 


/ Num. 21. 

g Deut. 2. 24 

h Num. 21. 
Deut. 3. 11. 

i ch. 6. 2. 

j ch.8.17-29. 

k ch. 10. 3. 


inch. 10.31, 

n ch. 10. 34, 

ch. 10. 33. 
ch. 16. 3. 

p ch. 10. 38. 
ch. 15. 7. 

q ch. 10. 29, 

r ch. 10. 28. 

s ch. 11. 10. 



to divide 

the land, 


much Is 

theirs yet 

only by the 




DIVISION 2. (Chap, xiii.-xxiv.) 
Division of the Land. 

13. 1-3. 

( eh. 18. 8. 
qr. 2 Pet 1. 

Eph. 8. 14- 

Subdivision 1. (Chap, xiii.-xxi.) 
The Allotment of Inheritance. 

(XIII. 1-7.) 

l.nv^OW Joshua was old, advanced in days, and Jeho- 
I X^ vah said unto him, Thou art old, advanced in 
■^ ^ days, and there 'remaineth very much land to 
possess. This is the land that remaineth : all the circles 
of the Philistines, and all the Geshurites ; from the Sihor 
which is before Egypt unto the boundary of Ekron north- 
ward, shall be counted to the Canaanite ; the five princes 

Div. 2. 
The second division gives the division of the land among the tribes, with a 
supplementary part, vfhich is a tvFofoId vritness and vt^aming as to that which is 
to come. It involves, of course, a more or less detailed account of the land 
itself which, if it be what perhaps all Christian hearts have believed, a type of 
oar own heavenly portion, ought to be of amazing interest to every child of 
Gk)d. If we ask, then, what has been done in this field in all the centuries that 
they have had it in possession, it has to be answered, almost absolutely nothing ! 
The commentators in general give plenty of verbal criticism, geography, and 
archeology, but practically declare it, as Fay in Lange does openly, as for the 
most part, "not suited for texts of sermons. " He remarks, therefore, "here, 
once for all, that on this description of passages in our book, the homiletical and 
practical comments will be omitted." Yet the American editor complains of 
certain expositions as "too much inclined to make gospel where the revealing 
Spirit has only seen fit to put something else, perhaps equally good, in its 
place " ! Such remarks, from either side of the ocean, have a sorrowful congrnity, 
and explain each other. No wonder that those should find such parts of 
Scripture as that which now lies before us barren of practical edification, who 
decide, by instinct, as it would seem, that the inheritance of Israel's tribes of 
old can have no gospel in it ! Who would commit himself to a search for it, if 
convinced that this is true? Yet the apostle assures us that things that 
happened unto Israel "happened unto them for types," and elsewhere that, 
"all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for 
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." How can we decide 
a priori, then, that there are no types here ? or believe that a map to illustrate 
an ancient histoi-y is all that is in the mind of the Spirit in this place? Is it 
not really presumption to decide so? 

We believe it is ; and that it is just such unbelieving dogmatism that is helping, 
Philistinelike, to stop the wells which God would have dug for the refreshment 
of pilgrims. In this wonderful field of Scripture, whenever we do not find 
water on the surface, we may be sure it is, at any rate, underneath the surface, 
and that "every one that" in a right spirit "seeketh findeth." The rule here, 
if any where, applies, " If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice 
for understanding, — if thou seekest for her as for silver, and searchest for her as 
for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the 
knowledge of Grod." 

SUBD. 1. 

The first subdivision gives the inheritance of the tribes according to lot ; the 

casting of the lot Ijeing characteristic of the apportionment on the west side of 

Jordan, that on the east side, as elsewhere remarked, l)eing without it. By the 

I lot, it is evident, was expressed, in a way more distinct than otherwise, the 

13. 3, 4. JOSHUA. 73 

of the Philistines, — the Gazathite and the Ashdodite, the 
Ashkelonite, the Gittite, and the Ekronite; and the 
" Avvite, in the south : all the land of the Canaanite, 
and Mearah, which belongeth to the Sidonians, as far 
as Aphek, as fai* as the boundary of the ^morite ; and 

mind of Grod : "the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord," says the voice of 
inspiration itself. (Pro v. xvi. 33.) But the lot seems to have only determined 
the position, and not the extent of these possessions, room being left for the 
revision of boundary-lines according as individual tribes might, as the result of 
their faithfulness or unfaithfulness, increase or diminish. Had they been as a 
whole faithful, the enlargement of their territories would have necessarily led 
to such revision. 

1. Meanwhile, Joshua being old, God commands him to distribute the land, 
although there remained very much land to be possessed, even of that which 
was but the first installment, as it were, of what bad been originally promised. 
For what is now spoken of reaches neither to the Red Sea nor the Euphrates. 
(Ex. xxiii. 31.) 

What remains is now carefully put before them, that they may be stimulated 
to the attainment of it. Attain to it they never did, though over much of it 
David ruled at an after time : but they never possessed it. It is theirs still, 
however, in the promise of God, with much else, to be fulfilled in a day now 
very near at hand. Our main interest in it to-day is as a shadow of spiritual 
things, a meaning which has shaped and gives the most exceeding value to what 
else might seem but a barren list of names and peoples passed away. Spiritu- 
ally read, they become once more living and present realities, and the fact that 
they do so is the fullest justification for so reading them. 

The lands enumerated have two principal divisions, in the south and in the 
north of that already subjugated. In the south there are those of the Philis- 
tines, with whom are named the Geshurites and the Avvites. Neither Philistines 
nor Geshurites were Canaanites, though their land is "counted to the Canaan- 
ites," and was no doubt originally theirs. The Avvites, from the relation in 
which we find them in Deuteronomy (chap, ii.) seem to have belonged to those 
monstrous races which were as gigantic in evil as in stature, and which were 
marked out specially for judgment. There is a certain association of these three 
together, and this we shall remember ; as every feet of Scripture has significance. 
Here, as in nature, moreover, a ftiU induction is necessary to a right deduction. 

The Philistines have already come before us in the book of Genesis, and we 
have seen what they represent ; but we can add something to what has been 
there said. They are descendants of Ham, the sun-burned one, the one dark- 
ened by the light; and next of Mitzraim, "double straitness," who seems 
rather to have received his name from than to have given it to the land of Egypt, 
for which in Scripture Mitzraim stands. Thus they are natural men, and as 
such under the control of nature, a thing for which they are, however, right- 
eously held responsible by Him who is ever ready with His help to lift above it. 

Between the Egyptian and the Philistine there is another and important link, 
the Casluhim, who are named next before the Caphtorim as springing from 
Mitzraim : Both of these are, though not equally, connected with the Phil- 
istines, who are said to have come out of Caphtor, and to be the remnant of that 
island, or coast. (Jer. xlvii. 4; Amos ix. 7.) According to their name, these 
are, in the Ethiopic, "emigrants," but in the Hebrew, "wanderers," the 
"way of the Philistines" being marked in Exodus as the "near" way out of 
Egypt to the land. It was as easy as it was near : no Eed Sea to cross nor 
Jordan, the Sihor named here being a mere nominal boundary-line, but not a 
barrier. Thus the Philistines are natural men come into spiritual things, not 
by the power of (Jod, but in a natural way. In Abraham's history and Isaac's, 
we find them in Gerar under their king Abimelech, "my father [was] king," 

74 JOSHUA. 13. 5, 6. 

the laud of the Giblite, and all Lebanon toward the 
sunrise, from "Baal-Gad beneath Mount Hermon,as far uch. 12. 7. 
as the entrance to Hamath ; all the inhabitants of the 
hill-country, from Lebanon as far as^Misrephoth-maim; w ch. 11. 8 
all the Sidonians : I will dispossess them from before 

the picture of that successional authority which obtains iu what claims most 
loudly to be the church to-day ; Phicol, "the voice of all," the captain of his 
host, as Rome rules according to what is claimed as universal tradition, the 
voice of the Church. Achish of Gath, in David's time, is in Ps. xxxiv. 
"Abimelech," his name vaunting him "a man indeed." 

Thus the Philistines represent plainly the church of tradition and assumed 
Catholicism, and we are prepared for the important place they have with regard 
to Israel in the generations that follow that of Joshua. But what connection 
have they, then, with the Casluhim and Caphtorim, and what do these names 
mean ? Casluhim seems to present special difficulty to the lexicographers, who 
seldom venture an interpretation ; but this can only be because of the strange- 
ness of the meaning, and its apparent unsuitability to be the name of a nation.* 
Yet there is no doubt that "as those forgiven" is the unforced meaning of the 
word, as there can be none that what characterizes largely the ecclesiastical 
systems of which Rome is head is a quasi forgiveness, instead of an actual one. 
The first thing necessary for peace and for conscious relationship to God, that is, 
that there may be a church at all, is forgiveness of sins ; and Rome recognizes 
this. Upon nothing does she insist more than upon the forgiveness of sins ; but 
it is ecclesiastical forgiveness, sacramental and priestly absolution, constantly 
repeated, and in that proportion valueless. ' ' For, ' ' says the apostle, ' ' the 
worshipers once purged Mould have had no more conscience of sins." (Heb.x.2.) 
And from the inability of the Jewish sacrifices to purge once for all he urges 
their inability to put away sins at all. On the contrary he maintains that 
Christ hath "by one offering perfected forever them that are sanctified." 
(Heb. X. 14.) Here at the very beginning, then, Rome's system fails: her 
forgiveness is but a ^uasi-forgiveness ; and, with the highest claim for herself, 
she preaches continual doubt to her vassals ; she is Philistine, and descended 
from the Casluhim. 

But she is also a " remnant of Caphtor," which we may read in the same way 
as ^^ quasi interpretei-s. " Two streams alike polluted mingle to produce both 
the ancient and the modern Philistine. As Rome builds upon her priestly 
absolution, so docs she claim for herself to be the infallible teacher. Yet teacher 
she is not, for she shuts up the Word of God, and is afraid to give any free 
access to it, lest the fraud should be exposed. This double test shows that she 
is sham all through. 

Has this to do with the unu.sual word for the Philistine districts, geliloth, 
"circles" or "circuits"? Sinuosities like the windings of a serpent, and 
sometimes the perfect circle, mark the ground that Rome covers, and the lines 
within which she is intrenched. She will build the authority of the church 
upon the Bible, and then the authority of the Bible on the church. Or, with 
better skill, skill not her own, will run her lines in tortuous labyrnths of 
argument from which her perplexed victims have no escape. Her moral lines 
are no straighter, and the Spirit of Jesus has for her no better expression than 
in the blasphemous sophistries of Jesuitism. 

The five cities of the Philistines give us in growing intensity their menace to 
Israel. Gaza, the "strong," to this day a greater city than Jerusalem. It is 
power that above all Rome seeks, — earthly power by whatever means acquired, 
and her spiritual power she uses for temporal aggrandizement. " I sit a queen, 

♦And this kind of reasoning evidently influences them so largely as to make the meaning 
of proper names as given by them very unreliable. Their derivations of them are often the 
most arbitrary, and are the more approved the more they favor the most commonplace 
rendering. Its being literal is of very slight account. 

13. 6, 7. JOSHUA. 75 

the children of Israel : only divide it to Israel by lot for 
an * inheritance, as I have commanded thee. And now 
apportion this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes, 
and to half the tribe of Manasseh. 

X ch. 14. 1,2. 
cf. Eph. 1. 

and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow, ' ' is her language ; and to secure this 
she is content to be a harlot with the kings of the earth. (Rev. xvii.) 

Ashdod, the "spoiler," shows us how she sustains and increases her strength. 
Hers is the parasite growth that saps the vigor of that which supports it. She 
may well be reckoned as a Cauaanite who puts a tariff on sin itself, and shame- 
fully sells every gift of God for money. The countries most Roman Catholic 
are those most spoiled, and that not of money only but of all that is really 

Ashkelon, the "fire of infamy," shows us next the lightest of her weapons 
against those that resist her sway. Curses, reproach of heresy, railings of all 
kinds, she has ever dealt in, blasting the good name of all she dare attack in this 
way. It is a necessity laid upon her to destroy the character of those whom 
she dooms to more serious penalties. And — 

Gath, "the wine-press," goes on to this. It is used in Scripture for the 
infliction of wrath, even divine wrath (Rev. xiv. 19, 20 ; xix. 15) ; and this is 
what Rome feigns her own to be. Finally — 

Ekron, "rooting out," carries this on to complete extirpation of all that 
differ from her. 

These, then, are the Philistine cities. With them the Geshurites are associ- 
ated. "Geshur," we are told, means "bridge;" but there is no mention of 
such a thing, and therefore no word for it, in Scripture. It may be a compound 
word, the first syllable much abbreviated, and mean "haughty observer," 
which, however, though suitable enough for associates of the Philistines, we 
cannot with any certainty apply. 

The Avvites are said in Deut. ii. to have been living in villages as far as Gaza, 
and to have been destroyed by the Caphtorim out of Caphtor, who dwelt in 
their stead. Here the Philistines themselves, or those who by union with the 
Casluhim became afterward the Philistines, seem to be intended. The "Avvites," 
or " Avvim," mean "perverters "or " overturners ; " and while God used the 
Caphtorim for the destruction of a people more evil than themselves, yet they 
seem not to have been fully destroyed, but mingled with their conquerors, who 
may have learned their ways. It is certain that a Christianity already corrupted 
has thus prevailed over forms of heathenism, to which it became itself assimi- 
lated ; so that that which in one sense had been destroyed, in another, survived. 
And this seems to be the lesson here. 

These are the southern foes, afterward to prove such thorns in Israel's sides. 
In the north were genuine Canaanites, especially the Sidonians. They were 
pre-eminently the merchant-race, the first-born of Canaan (Gen. x.), and had 
their characteristics. With them are joined the Giblites ("borderers " ?) on the 
northern slopes of Lebanon, which belonged, all of it to Israel, though never 
possessed by them. Of all this we can say little to purpose here. 

But how large a portion had Israel, thus, which they never claimed in faith, 
and never got, although the grace of God preserves it for them yet, with much 
more. And how little have Christians of the laud that is their own, and of 
how much do modern Philistines and Canaanites dispossess them ! We have 
of necessity not the material for working out such a problem. By and by we 
shall know, and judge ourselves for all our folly and unbelief Happy are they 
who even now apprehend what they can of the glorious inheritance ! 

2. We now pass on to look at the inheritance of the two tribes and a half 
beyond Jordan, an inheritance here confirmed to them as having fulfilled the 
conditions stipulated by Moses. (Num. xxxii. 29, 30.) The peculiar way in 
which this section commences cannot but be noticed, almost obscuring as it does 

-—— _ ___ 



13. 8-17. 

Confirm ar 
tlon of the 
of the two 
tribes and 
a half. 

1. (w. 8-14.) 

The whole 


V Num. 32. 

z jQd. 1. 27. 

, (15-33.) 

b ch. 12. 2. 
Num. 21. 
Num. 32. 

(XIII. 8-33.) 

2. ^With him the 'Keubenite and the Gadite received 
their inheritance, which Moses gave them across Jordan 
toward [sun] rise, — as Moses the servant of Jehovah 
gave them ; from Aroer which is on the bank of the 
brook Arnon, and the city which is in the middle of the 
ravine, and all the table-land of Medeba as far as Di- 
bon ; and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, 
who ruled in Heshbon, as far as the boundary of the 
children of Ammon; and Gilead, and the territory of 
the Geshurite and the Maachathite, and all Mount 
Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salcah, — all the king- 
dom of Og in Bashan, who ruled in Ashtaroth and in 
Edrei, — he remained of the residue of the giants : and 
Moses smote them, and dispossessed them. 'But the 
children of Israel did not dispossess the Geshurite and 
the Maachathite, but Geshur and Maachah dwell amid 
the Israelites to this day. "Only to the tribe of Levi 
gave he no inheritance : the offerings by fire to Jehovah, 
God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he spake unto 

*(a) And Moses gave to the tribe of the children of 
' Reuben according to their families. And theirs was 
the territory from Aroer which is on the bank of the 
brook Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the 
ravine, and all the upland by Medeba; Heshbon and 
all her cities that are in the upland; Dibon, and Bamoth- 

the new beginning ; but that there la this here is nevertheless plain enough 
upon even a slight consideration, and the reason for the peculiarity may be 
better considered when we come to look at the portion of Manasseh. 

(i.) But first we are to view the whole inheritance, essentially as we know 
the two Amorite kingdoms of Sihon and Og. Along with these we have now 
the territory of the Geahurites and Maachathites, which were mentioned in 
Deuteronomy as bounding Argob in Bashan, but not explicitly as coming within 
the limits of the two tribes and a half. Geshurites we have just met with in 
the sonth-west, probably the same people, though divided into two portions ; 
and if "Geshur" signifies "haughty observer," "Maachah" means "oppres- 
sion." They are little noticed afterward, and we can say little or nothing about 
them. The Israelites did not dispossess them, and we find kings of both places 
in David's time ; so that they must have soon drifted into indei>endence. 

(ii.) (o) It is in what was Sihon's kingdom that Reuben finds his portiou, in 
the southern half of it, in close proximity to Moab. Indeed it had, as we 
know, belonged to Moab, and been lost by them to Sihon. All this has to do 
with the meaning of what is before us, little as we may be able to render the 

Reuben ("see a sou") we have seen to represent man as the offspring of 
God by creation, gifted with that intelligent will in which lies the natural 
image of God ; but which as fallen has broken out in self-will and coiTuption. 
Humbled aud restored by grace it becomes the will of dependent cleaving to 
God, of that faith by which alone we are truly sous, as we have seen in Reuben 
in the wilderness. It is in this aspect we must consider him here, forgetting 
even, as we may believe, the failure which has shown itself in choosing for 
himself his inheritance where now we find him. God is over it all, and has for 
us in it other lessons than that of failure : aud this will be easily apparent as 
we proceed. 


division of 

the land. 

a (15-23.) 
The por- 
tion of 
Keuben : 
the subject 

will of 


to God. 

13. 17-21. JOSHUA. 77 

Baal, and Beth-Baal-meon, and Jahzah, and Kedemoth, 
and Mephaath, and Kirjathaim, and Sibmah, and Ze- 
reth-shahar in the mountain of the valley, and Beth- 
Peor, and the slopes of Pisgah, and Beth-jeshimoth, all 
the cities of the upland : even the whole kingdom of 
Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned at Heshbon, 
whom Moses smote, — him and the princes of Midian, 
Evi and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, the 

For in the first place, if Reuben in this way speaks now of faith, how signifl.- 
cant is it that his portion is found in Sihou's kingdom, and that it is he 
that builds up again Sihou's capital, .Heshbon, which falls to him. (Num. 
xxxii. 37.) "Heshbon" means "the reason, cause, or ground of a thing as an 
object of thought or study." {Wilso7i.) It is reudered in the common version 
"device," "reason;" "In Heshbon they have devised evil against her," says 
the prophet, playing upon the name. (Jer. xlviii. 2.) Heshbon caimot be main- 
tained by Sihou against Reuben, although the Moabite may have had to give it 
up to him; and so "reason" is not alien to faith, which only destroys it in its 
alien form, to build it up anew more securely. Its after-history we must con- 
sider later. Dibon also ("sufficiency of knowledge " ?) falls to Reuben, whose 
boundary southward is Arnon, ("the perpetual stream,") the limit of "living 
water;" on the bank of which Aroer is the same word as that for the "heath " 
(or "savin") in the desert, which furnishes to the prophet the picture of the 
curse upon " the man that trusteth in man, and whose heart depart eth from Je- 
hovah." (Jer. xvii. 5, 6.) Then the " table-land by Medeba" ("quiet waters ") 
characterizes in general Reuben's inheritance : a green upland pasture — "green 
pastures" and "quiet waters"! He too has the "slopes of Pisgah," and the 
"splendor of the dawn" (Zereth-shahar), and the places devoted to Baal he 
purifies and renames. If we cannot go further than this, is it not enough to 
show the excellency and suitability of Reuben's portion ? 

Nevertheless somewhat more may be attempted. It is divided evidently into 
four parts, the numerical character of which is easily recognized. The first section 
reminds us of the independence of faith ; the second, of its dependence ; the 
third contains twelve names, which ought thus to show how faith manifests it- 
self in the establishment of the divine government everywhere, being itself, of 
course, everywhere subject; while the fourth is but a boundary-line. 

The first begins also with a boundary-line, which is that of Moab; where 
Aroer, (literally, "laid bare") significantly shows the acceptance of the divine 
estimate of any merely human trust. This is, on the one side, clearly the secret 
of the independence of faith. Then we have a nameless " city by the brook," 
which in such connection may speak of busy activity content to be unknown to 
man; while the upland by Medeba ("quiet waters "), with the waters connected 
with both the previous places, shows how by the power and sustenance of the 
Spirit alone is all individuality maintained. Good and necessary lessons are 
these to-day! Never more needed. 

The second .section has but one name, though vdth many implied relationships; 
and while it shows the dependence of faith, stamps this as Heshbon, ^^ reason.'^ 
This indeed it is, and not credulity, — not blindness, though at times and in a 
certain sense, as with Abraham, it may not know whither it is going. But un- 
belief never really knows, — knows least where it sees plainest; while faith sees 
even in the dark — sees God at least, and rests : walks in no vain show, but in 
the truth. 

The third section has twelve names, as already said, a number speaking easily 
and beautifully, though some of the details may be obscure. 12 is 3 X 4, as we 
well know; and the four parts may indicate, (1) that the kingdom is above all; 
(2) yet now in conflict; (3) the fruit resultant; (4) its universality. To which, 
as a fifth part — though only an appendix to the rest — there is added a deutero- 



13. 21-27, 

6 (24-28.) 



growth aud 


d Num. 32. 
34, 35. 

princes of Sihon dwelling in the land. 'Balaam also, 
the son of Beor, the diviner, did the children of Israel 
slay with the sword among those that were slain by 
them. Aud the boundary of the children of Reuben 
was the Jordan and [its] border. This is the inherit- 
ance of the children of Reuben according to their 
families, the cities and their villages. 

(b) And Moses gave unto the tribe of <*Gad, [even] ac- 
cording to their families to the tribe of Gad. And their 
territory was Jaazer and all the cities of Gilead, and 
half the land of the children of Ammon, as far as Aroer 
which is opposite Rabbah; and from Heshbon to 
Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim ; and from Mahanaim to 
the border of Debir; and in the valley, Beth-haram, 
and Beth-nimrah, and Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of 
the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, the Jordan and 

nomic recital of how this land had become theirs by the OYerthrow of Sihon and 
of Midian, and of Balaam also. 

(!) Dibon, "sufficiency of knowledge, " or "discernment," shows first that the 
kingdom of God in the soul is by the truth. This is, indeed, its complete and 
moral supremacy. All error disappears. Bamoth-Baal, the "heights " whereon 
men adore their idols, fall thus into the hands of faith; as does Beth-baal-meon, 
the "house of the Baal of the dwelling," the abode of idolatry in the house and 

(2) But the kingdom is yet only recognized by faith, and is thus in conflict in 
the world. Jahzah, " treatling down, " Israel's battle-field with Sihon, implies 
other fields trodden by the feet of combatants; while Kedemoth speaks of "con- 
fronting" hosts. Mephaath, "shining" may intimate what in the Lord's eyes 
is the lustre of this "good fight of faith." 

(3) There is fruit also : Kirjathaim, " double city," may imply the concentra- 
tion of energy, and unification of diverse capacities, — that fitting together in one 
which comes naturally from the drill and discipline of war. Sibmah, if with 
some we render it ' ' fragrance, ' ' may speak of that diffusion of sweetness, the 
uncouscious ministry to others of that which is the fruit of personal character. 
And Zereth-shahar, the "brightness of dawn," as seen from the "mount within 
the valley," gives the anticipation from the high place to which the low may 
bring you, of that sure coming day which gilds for us already, thank God, the 
clouds of night. 

{4) Beth-peor is, as to its import, doubtful. Pisgah must speak of faith's ' ' sur- 
vey " of the future inheritance; Beth-jeshimoth, the "house of the wastes," of 
provision for the wilderness. These together imply God's .sovereignty over the 
future and the present. Does Beth-peor complete this by showing Him sovereign 
over that which led us captive in the past? This we must leave as but a ques- 
tion; certainly, however, — 

(5) The recital of the victories by which they had gained possession of the land 
is quite in keeping with such a thought. 

Finally, the .Jordan is plainly, in one sense, the limit of faith. In the joy 
beyond, we shall be " face to face." 

(b) Gad lies next to Reuben : Gad, the type of spiritual increase, and of a 
militant condition too. Both things are contained in Leah's exclamation, "A 
troop Cometh."* Spiritual increase can hardly be without conflict in a world 
like this; and the men of Gad we find in David's time eminent as warriors. 
(1 Chron. xii. 8-14.) 

* Which thus again vindicates this reading of the passage. (Gen. xxx. 11.) 

13. 27-31. 



c (29-33.) 
son of 

' he who 


e Num. 32. 

[its] border, as far as the extremity of the sea of Chin- 
nereth across Jordan toward the [sun]rise. This is the 
inheritance of the children of Gad, according to their 
families, the cities and their villages. 

(c) And Moses gave unto the half-tribe of 'Manasseh; 
and this was what belonged to the half-tribe of Manas- 
seh according to their families : and their territory was 
from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og 
king of Bashan, and all the Havvoth-Jair which are in 
Bashan — sixty cities. And half Gilead, and Ashtaroth 
and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan [be- 
longed] to the children of Machir the son of Manasseh, 
to half the children of Machir according to their 

Gad shares with Reuben the laud of Sihon; and their possessions seem at first 
sight strangely intermingled. Gad builds Dibon, though it falls to Reuben; and 
though Reuben builds and is allotted Heshbon, yet we fiud it afterward given to 
the Levites as a city of Gad (chap. xxi. 39). It was on the boundary-line, and 
might easily belong to either; but in this interweaving of Reuben and Gad, do 
we not find how inseparable "increase " is from faith ; and how, if faith build 
up reason, it will take growth and militant energy to hold it ? And so Gad 
also builds for Reuben Dibon ("sufficiency of knowledge"), for so Peter gives 
the connection — "Add to your faith virtue (valor), and to virtue knowledge." 

Suitable also it is that "all the cities of Gilead " (the " heap of witness ")* 
should belong to Gad; and half of Ammon (see Deut. ii. notes), in the face of 
which they build another Aroer. Also that they should have Mahanaim with 
its memorial from Jacob's history. Would one could say more as to Gad ! but 
as to what should be possessed, how much remains ! 

(e) We may pass, then, to Manasseh : and here how exquisitely suited is it 
that Manasseh, the one " forgetful " of things behind, and of Manasseh just the 
children of Machir, "he who recollects" (of course, that to which he is press- 
ing on), should have the kingdom of Og in Bashan put into their hands ! For 
the things of the world can only be rightly used by him who is pressing on to 
another ; and this is the only one of the tribes found on the east side of Jordan 
that in fact inherits on both sides of the river. Is it not this that we are reminded 
of in that strange beginning of the second section, so connected with the first : 
"With him the Reubenite and the Gadite received their inheritance, " where 
' ' with him ' ' is with Manasseh, to whom with the other nine tribes Joshua has 
just been commanded to distribute the land west of Jordan? Reuben and Gad 
are on the east side, yet with Manasseh, who is both east and west. The one- 
ness of the tribe is thus emphasized, spite of this : and thus indeed Manasseh 
approaches nearer the final division in the yet coming day, when each tribe 
receives its inheritance on both sides, the boundary lines running east and west 
across the river. Whatever, then, Manasseh's personal failure in all this, it 
seems clear that we are not to regard it here, but to see in him the competence 
to use the world as having the heart in heaven. 

Among Machir' s sons we find Jair active in the conquest of the land. He is, 
according to his name, the ' ' enlightener, ' ' and the introduction of light is the 
way to conquer Satan's kingdom of darkness. Life comes into the soul with 
light, if it be true light : so the cities Jair conquers he calls the ^^ lives {hawoth) 

♦Elsewhere (Num. xxvi. 29, n.), I have accepted, with most, Gesenius' suggestion of "hard, 
rocky ; " but Fay, even while not altogether refusing it, urges a number of texts against this 
(Num. xxxii. 1; Jer. viii. 22; xlvi. 11; 1. 19; Cant. iv. 1; vl. 4). Jacob's history governs so much 
in the scenes of his eventful life, that the connection of Galeed with Gilead strongly com- 
mends itself 

" All the cities of Gilead " here are all that belonged to the kingdom of Sihon. 



13. 32-14. 8. 


the spirit of 


I. (xlv.) 

How power 

to obtain 

promise Is 

/Ch. 14.8,4. 

g Num. S4. 
17, 29. 

This is that which Moses allotted for inheritance in 
the plains of Moab across Jordan from Jericho toward 
the [sunjrising. And unto the children of -^Levi Moses 
gave no inheritance: Jehovah the God of Israel, he is 
their inheritance, as he spake unto them. 

(XlV., XV.) 

3. ^ And this is what the children of Israel inherited in 
the land of Canaan, which ^Eleazar the priest and 
Joshua the son of Nun and the chief fathers of the 
tribes of the children of Israel allotted them for inherit- 
ance: their inheritance was by lot as Jehovah had 
commanded by the hand of Moses for the nine tribes 
and the half-tribe. For Moses gave inheritance to the 
two tribes and the half tribe beyond Jordan, and to the 
Levites he gave no inheritance among them ; but the 
children of Joseph were two tribes — Manasseh and 
Ephraim ; and they gave to the Levites no portion in 
the land save "cities to dwell in, and their pasturage 
for their cattle and for their substance. As Jehovah 
commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did; and 
they apportioned the land. 

And the children of Judah drew near unto Joshua at 
*Gilgal, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite 
said unto him, Thou knowest the word which Jehovah 
spake unto Moses the ■'man of God concerning me and 
thee in Kadesh-tarnea. * Forty years old was I when 
Moses the servant of Jehovah sent me from Kadesh- 
barnea to spy out the land ; and I brought him back 
word as it was in my heart. And my brethren who 

of Jair." Men call Og's luxury and self-pleasing "life," but Jair shows us 
what is really life. 

Machir shares Gilead with Gad; and this needs no further interpreting. The 
lesson of Manasseh here is as simple to read as it is good to learn aud practice. 
Only in practice can it be really learnt. The reminder as to Levi's portion 
closes fittingly this section. Eeubeu, Gad, Manasseh, Levi, — all belong to us. 

Notice how the spiritual meaning in these three tribes connects together; how 
naturally the one develops out of the other; how really we are on the earth side 
of things all through. The more it is searched into, the more it will appear 
how consistent and harmonious is the whole of this. 

3. "We now cross the river, and come to the inheritance of Judah, as it would 
seem, the first possession on the west side, and by far the largest possession. 
The Spirit of God evidently marks it out for us with peculiar care, and when 
we consider the prominence of Judah in the after-histoiy, and the spiritual 
significance (two things more closely connected than is usually imagined), we 
are at no loss to understand this. The spirit of praise must have precedence of 
all else in the land of the inheritance of the people of God, aud will put us in 
possession, most of all, of our inheritance there. 

(i.) The first few verses here emphasize the fact that the inheritance was all 
given by lot at the hands of Eleazar and Joshua, and the heads of the people ; 
and that in the distribution Joseph's two tribes compensated for the lack of 
territory for the tribe of Levi. We have then a most important lesson which 
Caleb, the whole-hearted, is brought forward to give us. The man of eighty- 
five appears with the children of Judah before Joshua at Gilgal, to claim the 
inheritance promised to him forty-five years before. Save Joshua, all his gener- 

al ch. 13. 88. 
ch. 18. 7. 

t ch. 10. 48. 
ch. 5. 7. 


k Num. 18. 

14. 8-15. 



I Num. 14. 

Pa. 92. 14. 
<•/. 2 Sam. 
21. 15 

n Num. 13. 

o ch. 15. 13. 

went up with me made the heart of the people melt, 
but I fully followed Jehovah my God. And Moses 
sware in that day, saying, 'Surely the land whereon thy 
feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance and thy 
children's forever, because thou hast fully followed Je- 
hovah my God. And now, behold, Jehovah hath kept 
me alive, as he said, these forty and five yeare, since Je- 
hovah spake this word unto Moses, when Israel walked 
in the wilderness ; and now, behold, I am eighty and 
five years old this day : I am still as "strong this day as 
in the day when Moses sent me; as my vigor then, so 
my vigor now for war, to go out and to come in. And 
now give me this mountain of which Jehovah spake 
that day ; for thou heardest that day that the "Anakim 
were thei'e, and cities great and fortified. If Jehovah 
be with me, then I shall dispossess them, as Jehovah 
hath said. And Joshua blessed him ; and he gave He- 
bron for an inheritance to Caleb the son of Jephunneh : 
wherefore " Hebron hath been the inheritance of Caleb 
the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, be- 
cause he fully followed Jehovah the God of Israel. And 
the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-Arba: [he was] 
the great man among the Anakim. And the land 
rested from war. 

ation has passed away, but he remains, and with all the strength of that former 
time. The Anakim whom he saw at Hebron remained there yet ; and they 
must be sabdaed by him, if he is to receive the promise ; but he desires no less 
difficult task; and his faith is as strong as his body. No need of many words to 
enforce the lesson in this case. We see at once how spiritual strength is perpet- 
uated ; and have it pressed upon us how our promised portion must be laid hold 
of and enjoyed. 

Caleb is here, as once before, the Kenezite, and there is a Kenaz elsewhere 
said to be his brother. We shall not discuss in this place the difficulties of his 
genealogy; but what does the name mean ? At least as good as any thing given, 
and completely in the line of thought of Caleb's history, would be "receptacle 
of strength;" and in this way Othniel, of whom we hear in the next chapter 
and in Judges, would be the fitting son of Kenaz. 

(ii.) The boundaries of the tribe of Jndah are next marked out. It lies 
southern-most of all the tribes, bounded on the south by the land of Edom and 
the wilderness of Zin ; on the east, by the salt, or dead sea ; on the west, by the 
great sea, or Mediterranean ; and only on the north by Israelitish territory. 
Thus Judah, lifted up upon her hills, has a most varied outlook. Within also she 
is divided into the south land, where a large number of her cities lay, the low- 
land, or shephelah, (which included the Philistine plain,) the hill-country, and 
the wilderness. How good is it thus to realize that one can face outside the 
world of the natural man, the wilderness condition, the awful lake of judgment, 
the sea of instability and distress, no less than the blessed portion of the people 
of God, and give praise in view of all ! While also the most varied conditions 
affecting ourselves may give occasion not merely to contentment, but to adora- 
tion ! And it is only in a spirit of praise that we can rightly view all this. 
Judah speaks of that kind of praise which is termed ^' confession.^ ^ It is the 
confession of God, of course, that is intended by it ; and when as redeemed we 
know Him, then, as knowing that all things are in His hands, even where we 
know nothing more, and cannot penetrate the mystery of His dispensations, we 
have the fullest assurance that can be given us that all is well, Egypt, the Red 

82 JOSHUA. 15. 1-3. 

2. (xv.l-12.) 

of Judab. 
n (vv. 1-4.) 
The south 

border : 
from the 
spirit of 

p Num. 26. 

q Num. 34. 

^(a) And the lot for the tribe of the children of ^Ju- 
dah according to their families was to the border of 
Edom, the wilderness of Zin southward, in the extreme 
south. And their « south border was from the end of the 
salt sea, from the bay that faceth southward ; and it 
went out south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and passed 
on to Zin; and it went up on the south of Kadesh- 

Sea deliverance, the wilderness, with its miracles of care and its holy lessons, 
all lie southward from Judah : Judah fronts them all, and how can one look in 
this direction, from the land flowing with milk and honey to which we have 
been brought, without adoring confession ? 

No wonder, then, if Judah take the lead and be the "lawgiver." (Ps. cviii. 8.) 
In the hearts of His worshiping people God will be supreme ; the spirit of 
praise governs the heart and rules the life for God. Here is the citadel, which if 
surrendered, all is given up : when Judah goes into captivity, the national life 
is gone. 

(a) The southern boundary comes naturally first. It should have meaning 
for us : can we attempt to explain it spiritually ? Critics of a certain kind will 
laugh their loudest very likely, but we have come hopelessly under their con- 
demnation long ago, and the desire to show that every part of the Word of God 
is profitable for edification is more attractive than their condemnation is alarm- 
ing. If we should make some mistakes, let those who have made none cast 
their stones. 

Over the boundary lie Edom, the wilderness of wandering, and, at a greater 
distance, Egypt. Edom and Egypt are allied as types of the natural world, — in 
the one, wilder; in the other, cultured ; but both alike in independence of God. 
The wilderness shows the unbelief of the people of God bringing them back to 
the same condition of independence in departing from the living God. Israel's 
boundary line may well show us, therefore, how God would separate His people 
from this sin. 

In fact, we shall find lessons of this kind here, and in a certain connection 
with one another and progress of thought, such as a line traced in this way 
might suggest. Tlie first three places here seem to give us the sin of indepen- 
dency as looked at in itself ; the next two, the divine help against it ; the three 
following, help of more internal sort ; the fourth, and last, the witness of nature ; 
and this division would be a true numerical one. The border throughout is 
nothing but an air-line, which requires, therefore, intelligence to discern, and 
obedience to maintain. 

Of the first three, the first is the salt sea ; and measurably we already know 
what this means. It is the awful similitude of the pit of woe, into which the 
river of death pours unceasingly without overflow or escape again. It fertilizes 
nothing, but abides under the curse of barrenness., which is but the perpetua- 
tion of what is in the nature of sin. Its first law, which we may most naturally 
see in this glimpse of one end of it (for we do not see it all), is just this utter 
barrenness which its waters, wherever they are, produce. Tbis is only a first 
thought, and a negative one indeed ; and yet in God's creation, which all was once 
made good, and for good, barrenness is of itself a terrible reproach and stain. 

But we have a further development at Maaleh-Akrabbim, the "ascent of the 
scorpions." The sting of the scorpion is in its tail, and this is the way of siu, 
which may have its "pleasures for a season," but, like the enchanted wine-cup, 
"«< last it biteth as a serpent, and stingeth as an adder." (Prov. xxiii. 32.) 
Sin,— independence of God,— is not only barren : it has poison in its bowels, 
and death as its end. 

Thirdly, we have Zin, a " thorn ; " and a thorn is the natural curse : " thorns 
also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee." The blight of divine judgment 
abides thus upon the sinner ; and in this threefold picture this is the last 
feature : sin is in its nature what calls for and abides under divine wrath. This 

15. 3-5. JOSHUA. 83 

barnea, and passed to Hetzron; and it went up to 
Addar, and turned to Karkaali, and passed to Azmon ; 
and it went out at the brook of Egypt ; and the border 
ended at the sea. This shall be your southern border. 

(b) And the ''eastern border was the salt sea as far as 
the end of Jordan. 

b (V.5.) 

The east 

border : 

the witness 


r Num. 34. 

is no arbitrary thing, but must be, unless there is redemption ; and this the 
cry of the twenty-second psalm declares. 

God's people are redeemed ; but He must still show His holiness in His deal- 
ings with them ; and of this, Kadesh-barnea, the "sanctuary of the wanderer," 
may now well remind us. God had His place of refuge for His people in the 
wilderness, but it was a "sanctuary," a holy refuge, and they for their sins 
were "wanderers." In making it a city of Israel He bade them take home 
both the grace and the holiness of this to their hearts. 

Hetzron, "inclosure," may exhibit another kind of care, the hedge around 
His people which nothing but that which shall work blessing for them may 
come through. Grod guards them thus from what would from their feebleness 
be too much for them. This is a constant mercy, of which we need to be 
reminded, because we are necessarily so little conscious of it. "He will not 
suffer us to be tempted beyond that we are able ; but will with the temptation 
also make a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it. ' ' 

We come now to what speaks of deeper and more internal work. First, 
Addar, which means "glory," "honor," or else "a goodly 7-oie; " such as are 
the white ' ' garments ' ' which those in Sardis had not defiled. (Rev. iii. 4. ) 
These, of course speak, of practical righteousness : our righteousness in Christ is 
wholly beyond even the thought of defilement. The suggestion of such a robe 
is fully in the line of thought in this place, and may well be accepted as what is 
here. A robe to keep unspotted is a good argument against the seduction of sin. 

We have nest Karkaah, which is a word used for "pavement," but com- 
pounded of two words which together imply "extension of what is joined 
together." We need not think, then, of a pavement : the lesson may be of that 
mutual help rendered by those each severally feeble, which is indeed Grod's way 
of making His people realize their need of each other, and training them in 
lowliness : a barrier against independence surely. 

And thus, last of the cities here is Azmon, "strong;" for God has strength 
for His people, to be found in the sanctuary, but in the way of lowliness and 
dependence, so that we reach it by the way of Karkaah, as we have said. Truth 
is here in most fitting order, and to take it thus gives it power and beauty. 

Finally, the stream of Egypt becomes the boundary to the sea, as to which we 
have no great interest in this connection in deciding whether it is the Wady el 
Arish that is meant, as commonly believed, or rather, as Poole contends, the 
Pelusiac branch of the Nile. That in the promise to Abraham Israel's border is 
the Nile there is no right question ; but there the Euphrates is the boundary at 
the other end. In the division here there is as yet no possession of so wide a 
region, and the limit seems to fall short every way. But enough has been 
already said with regard to this. 

In any case, the " stream of Egypt " would suggest to us still the thought of 
that ministry of natural blessings, which, while to natural men they seem so 
much a matter of course, have in them, to any one whom faith has restored to 
proper reason, abundant witness of the hand from which they come, and thus 
against independence. This too would make a fourth division of this boundary 
line, strictly according to numeric symbolism. Thus it is completed. 

(6) The eastern border was the salt sea in its whole length to the mouth of the 
Jordan. The east has its two aspects spiritually, let us remember, as there are 
two words which express it in Hebrew. It was the place of sunrise, in this 
way of hope, though it might be far off. In the second sense, it was what 

84 JOSHUA. 15. 5-7. 

c (5-11.) 
The north 

border : 
the luanl- 
festaliou of 
Judab in 
relation to 

(c) And the border of the 'north side was from the 
bay of the sea at the end of Jordan ; and the border 
went up to 'Beth-hoglah, and passed along from the 
north to Beth-arabah ; and the border went up to the 
stone of Bohan the son of Reuben ; and the border went 

s C^ ch. 18. 

t ch. 18. 21. 

immediately confronted one, and commonly evil. The sea of salt, or dead sea, 
suggests naturally the latter of these thoughts. FVom it Judah's possession rose 
rapidly and in sublimity until Jerusalem towered thirty-five hundred feet alwve 
its surface ; how different from the long slope of the land toward the western 
sea, ending in the broad wheat-plains of Philistia ! 

The salt sea, too, however evil in suggestion, is but a "lake." You can 
look over it to the hills beyond : it is not interminable. And so also at the end 
we read of a " lake" of fire and brimstone ; not a sea, with its shore out of 
sight, but defined and limitable, thank God ! and even narrow in its limits, 
though in itself terrible, as it is meant to be. 

Here there is no fire, not even a volcano-mouth ; but stifling heat there is, 
and the smell of sulphur, which abounds in it. All living things that the 
Jordan brings into it die ; but there is no breath of disease from its deep blue 
waters ! Such is this type of sin's awful judgment, between which and Israel's 
blessed portion there is no middle ground at all. The shores of the land of 
Judah lie all along it, and the homes of "praise " rise in full view of the lake 
of judgment. There will be, and, thank God, there need be, no forgetfulness 
in heaven : our praise here, too, is founded upon knowledge, and the full light 
of eternity will but perfect it. 

Thus the salt sea bounds indeed Judah's possessions ; bnt guards, and not 
invades them ; as from the cross, from One forsaken of God, there was the witness- 
ing voice, "But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." 
And how should not they praise who as the fruit of that work are saved and 
brought nigh to God ? How can the view of the judgment of sin do aught but 
deepen in the soul the apprehension of salvation: "Thou wast slain, and hast 
redeemed us to God by Thy blood ! " 

The border on the second side is one of strict separation — of salvation : 
not an air-line now. 

(c) Judah's border on the north is Israelite, the only part of it that is. From 
what, then, must it be looked at as really separating? or what is the meaning 
of the boundary-line here? As the third border, we may characterize it, 
I think, as one of manifestation, bringing out more distinctly what Ijelougs 
to worship itself, its place and power in connection -with what the other tribes 
stand for spiritually. 

Of these other tribes only Ephraim and Manasseh get their portion at this 
time. Judah's boundary never touches Ephraim's ; but as yet there is nothing 
between them but unappropriated land. Hence it would seem that this 
boundary of Judah has respect as yet to Ephraim, and this will be confirmed by 
further examination. 

Joseph's two tribes we have already seen to be connected together in their 
spiritual meaning, as might have been anticipated. " Ephraim " speaks of 
" fruitfulness ; " "Manasseh," of the energy that presses forward to the goal, 
" forgetting " what is behind; a spirit not ascetic, though it might seem so, but 
acquisitive, and which is the spirit that makes fruitful. Thus the two tribes 
are one. 

Judah and Joseph take possession of their lots in distinct priority of all others 
on the west of Jordan, and thus are in some sense to be looked at as dividing 
the land between them. They afterward did, as it were, divide the land (alas ! 
in opposition to each other) as heads of the respective kingdoms of Judah and 
Israel, the latter of which is often spoken of as " Ephraim." In reference to 
each other they do, in fact, represent typically two spheres of the spiritual life. 

15. 7. JOSHUA. 85 

u ch. 7. 26. 

ver. 15. 

ch. 12. 13. 
V ch. 14. 6. 

Jud. 2. 1. 

up to "Debir from the valley of Achor, and turned 
northward toward "Gilgal, which is opposite the ascent 
of Adummim, which is on the south side of the water- 

absolately necessary to each other and to the maintenance of this, and -which 
yet have .strange tendencies to divorce themselves from one another. These are, 
of course, the objective and subjective spheres, of faith and of practice, of piety 
God ward and maaward ; though none of these terms fully distinguish what God 
would never have separated, and which never can be, without the destruction of 
both ; as Israel's divided kingdom was her ruin. 

Judah and Ephraim alike reach across the whole breadth of territory, from 
the Jordan to the sea ; but at no point do they touch oue auother. Between 
them are afterward placed two tribes, who, on opposite sides — toward Jordan 
and toward the sea — fill up the gap, and join the separated lauds together. As 
we look at them we shall find how truly they are intended to be holdfasts on 
either side, and how beautifully in their spiritual meaning they fill up the 

Benjamin comes first of these, and fills up the Jordan side. The root-meaning 
here we have in the first notice in the book of Genesis (chap, xxxv., see vol. i. 
p. 99, n.). "Benjamin" is "Christ in us," the "I, yet not I," of the apostle 
(Gal. ii. 20), the real power for a walk on earth. "Not I, but Christ liveth in 
me ; " which, let us note, is not the same as, " Christ is my life ; " nor is it 
either, "To me to live is Christ;" though nearer akiu to the latter than the 
former. But the oue is aim. while the other is that realization of faith upon 
which it is dependent. "Christ has been crucified for me," he says ; "it was 
my death, though He bore it : I, then, am crucified with Christ ; yet I live, 
really live now : death is behind me, not before me ; I live beyond my death." 
Tlien he shows the practical effect of this : "I live because Christ lives ; I live 
before God in Him ; God sees me no more but in identification with the Son of 
His love, who appears in His presence for me. I also look where God looks ; I 
see what God sees : it is no more myself I see ; I have lost myself in my won- 
drous Representative, and even as I live down here, it is Christ that lives in me : 
I have exchanged myself for Him." 

Now, if this is what Benjamin means, he certainly in an admirable way fills 
the gap between Judah and Ephraim. This is, as it were, the objective in the 
subjective : it is what is before the eyes wrought into practical life. It is the 
worehiping heart pulsating through the body of the worshiper. 

But Benjamin nevertheless does not fill all the space here. Westward, toward 
the great sea, another tribe is found, very difierent in the significance attaching 
to it from that of Benjamin. It is Dan, the last of all to find his place, and the 
most unsatisfactory of all perhaps in his after-history. But the failure has 
nothing to do with what he represents ; and Benjamin's history is also a sad 
one. Oftentimes the most blessed truths seem to "be those that have the least 
influence over us. Dan in the wilderness is leader of one of the four camps 
there, and, as we have seen, though the son of a handmaid, represents "rule ; " 
which is in fact service, where it is according to God. 

But rule, to be exercised aright, must also be rule over one's self first, — self- 
judgment ; and Dan's name, we know, means "judge." Judgment, which 
iniplies discernment, is the ruler's part. ^Se/Z-judgment begins for the Christian 
with the apprehension of the cross, which is God's estimate of man, the most 
solemn, because not that of an enemy, but of One who so loved us as to bear for 
us in Christ the judgment He had pronounced. 

We have come thus far, then, toward Benjamin, with whose territory Dan's 
joins toward the middle of the land. But Dan gives only the negative side of 
Benjamin, not the positive side. It is the judgment of self he emphasizes, 
which joins on, on the one side, to the " worship " of Judah, — every mind the 
least taught of God knows how, — and on the other, links with Ephraim 's 
" fruitfulness " as intelligibly. 

86 JOSHUA. 15. 7, 8. 

course ; aud the border passed to the waters of Enshem- 
esh and ended at ""Enrogel. 

And the border went up to the valley of the son of 

w 2 Sam. 
17. 17. 

The gap, then, is filled up in the most perfect way ; aud this should help us 
much in the study of the boundary-lines, which we find iji the case of Judah's 
first part plainly haviug Ephraim rather in view than Benjamin, as already said. 
What shows this is the way in which places in Benjamin itself are used to mark 
the line, as Beth-hoglah, and Beth-arabah, and Jebusi, or Jerusalem. Oa the 
west end of the boundary-line there are named similarly places that afterward 
belonged to Dan. 

The description divides the boundary into two parts, the first of which, rising 
from the mouth of the Jordan, ends at Enrogel, just outside Jerusalem. The 
second part passes from Enrogel to the sea. The first part, in accordance with 
its being such, shows the priority of Judah to Ephraim, — no fruitfulness being 
possible till God takes his right place with the soul, — till it worships. 

In this first part there are again five divisions, indicated by the repetition of 
"the border," as if it started afresh. It will be seen too that the second of 
these contains Beth-hoglah and Beth-Arabah, while the fifth speaks of En- 
shemesh and Enrogel. 

{!)* We are first of all directed to the point of commencement of the bound- 
ary : ^^ And the border of the north side was from the hay of the sea at the end of 
Jordan.'''' "From judgment into which death brings" is clearly the typical 
meaning. Worship begins with the recognition of our natural lost condition, 
without which we might have an angel's praise, but not a saint's. That which 
begins here is the song oi grace, of one who is a "brand plucked from the 
burning," as it were the fire already kindled, judgment already beginning to 
take effect : a "bay of the sea" being, one may suppose, like the antechamber 
of hell. Almighty power and sovereign grace alone could work here, and thus 
with these the song begins. 

(2) Next, we have the way of salvation : ' ' And the border went up to Beth- 
hoglah, and passed along from the north to Beth-arabah. ' ' The places are both in 
Benjamin, as was before said. Beth-hoglah is interpreted by Simonis, from the 
Syriac and Arabic, as "house of the partridge ;" for which last Young gives 
" magpie." Neither meaning connects with Scripture or yields any intelligible 
meaning that one can see. As Hebrew, taking Hoglah as two words, the first 
letter of the second being dropped because identical with the last letter of the 
first, it might mean "the revealed sacrifice," hag being either a feast or the 
sacrifice of the feast. The " house of the revealed sacrifice " would be specially 
fitting in reference to the passover. 

The other name here, Beth-arabah, is undoubtedly ' ' the house of the wilder- 
ness ; " and passover and wilderness would in this connection remind us of that 
love and care which had delivered Israel from judgment in Egypt, and sheltered 
them on their journey to the land. For us the types speak easily and need no 
expounding. A salvation to the uttermost, or redemption and preservation 
through the Lamb of sacrifice, suit well the numerical place. 

(5) Consecration follows : as we have had chapters from Exodus in the last 
section, so now, equally in order, we have one from Leviticus : "Jwrf the 
border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. ' ' Bohan means "thumb; " 
and we have no trace any where else of the thing or of the man referred to 
here. What profit are we to find unless we are at liberty to interpret the name ? 

When we have the name, how are we to apply it ? The way to learn this, one 
might suppose, would be to see what we can find in Scripture in connection 
with the "thumb." The search need not be long. With the exception of 
the story of Adonibezek in the next book, the only Scripture references to the 

* These divisions are too minute for any corresponding notice In the text ; but they are 
numbered to direct attention to their numerical structure. 

15. 8. JOSHUA. 87 

X 2 Kings 
23. 10. 
Jer. 32. 35. 
Is. 30. 33. 

*Hinnom, to the shoulder south of the Jebusite (that is 
Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the 
mount which is in front of the valley of Hinnom west- 

thamb are found in connection with the' consecration of the priests and of the 
cleansing of the leper in Lev. viii. aud xiv.* Have we not here, then, a plain 
intimation of what this would remind us? The thumbs of the priests or of 
the leper touched with the blood of sacrifice, and then with oil upon the blood, 
were tokens of consecration, in this double way, to the service of God. {Notes, 
vol. i, pp. .310, 330.) 

The stone of Bohan was naturally a memorial pillar such as that of Jacob at 
Bethel, and, as with him, a witness to some divine, not human, work : up to 
this time, we have no account of any man or human work so memorialized. Such 
a witness to God would suit well a consecrated hand, and that of a Keubenite, 
who speaks of the will that cleaves to Him. A stone would be meant to abide ; 
and thus the stone of Bohan would be very plainly the memorial of consecration 
to God. 

Every child of God is at the same time a "saint " — sanctified by the work of 
Christ and by the Spirit which dwells in him. He needs but to carry this in 
remembrance. We are set apart to God, not by any voluntary engagement of 
our own, but by Another's devotedness to death for us. We are bought with a 
price, aud belong to Him who has paid the ransom. 

{4) We have now what is more difficult : ^^ And the harder went up to Debir 
from the valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal, which is opposite the 
ascent of Adiimmim, which is on the south side of the water-course. ' ' Here are two 
things, though connected : first, the ascent to Debir from the valley of Achor. 
Both words we are familiar with, though Debir is not the city of that name that 
we have before had ; it has, however, the same significance, (either "speaker" 
or "oracle,") while Achor is the valley named "troubling," from the punish- 
ment of Achan. This part, therefore, seems simple, that while here in the 
world we have to meet the trouble which is the fruit of sin, yet there is a way 
of access (which is thus also an ascent out of it) to that oracular voice which (as 
in Achan's case) gives the meaning of it all. The number of this section govern- 
ing it, shows where the emphasis is to be laid, and that the "oracle " has reference 
to the "troubling ; " which the history too confirms. 

The second part now completes the lesson : the border turns toward Gilgal, not 
reaching it indeed, for the words seem to indicate that Gilgal is on the north side 
of the water-course, opposite the way of ascent by which the border goes, which 
is on the south side. And this the modern investigations tend to establish. 

Gilgal is the " rolling away " of the reproach of Egypt, — that is, of the bond- 
age there — bondage to sin, and toward this the way of Debir turns. The oracle 
which enlightens as to the cause of the trouble points us to the deliverance from 
it already achieved, and which we have not again to reach but only to be re- 
minded of; while our road lies on the south — the sunny ? — side of the water-course 
(the stream of living water) up the ascent of Adummim (the "quieted ones" ), 
— up, ever up, refreshed and rested, toward the end at hand. 

(5) For now we reach the first halting place, and we may be certain that re- 
freshment is abundant there. So it is: we end now with two springs, in the beau- 
tiful language of Scripture, "eyes," in the purity and abundance of which God's 
eye, as it were, looks out at you, and you are reminded, as was Hagar at Beer- 
lahai-roi, of the "Living One who seeth. " Tivo springs: the one Enshemesh, 
the fountain of the sun, because the sun is ever shining on it; the second, Enrogel, 
the fuller's fountain, where our garments are made white. 

We have finished our journey now as pilgrims: we are on the top of the ascent, 
and the city of the great King, Jerusalem, is right before us. " Our feet stand 
within thy gates, Jerusalem. ' ' All this road speaks, then, of what we have as 

* Prescribed indeed in Exod. xxix. 20, as to the priests, but only carried out in Lev. viii. 

JOSHUA. 15. 8, 9. 

ward, which is at the end of the valley of "Rephaim 'y2Sam. s. 
northward ; and the border was drawn from the top of ^^' 
the mountain to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, 

the material of worship. Can even " fruitful " Ephraim show such a road ? la 
not the pre-emiuence of Judah demonstrated by it? Does it not all through 
speak of God, God, God? Here we have indeed our ' ' songs of degrees " or " as- 
cents:" every step is a song! 

But here the second part of the border commences, and we have to follow it 
by a longer descent to the western sea. 

It is after the fix^st three stages an almost continuous descent, the interruptions 
being notable as such. It represents the continuous self-humbling so naturally 
suggested by the connection with Dan, which the apprehension of God induces in 
the soul, and which unites itself with and mauitests the spirit of worship. Here 
too the difference is plain between Judah and Ephmim. The practical truth 
which Ephi'aim presents to us, necessary as it surely is, needs carefully to be 
guarded lest a spirit of self-complacency be nurtured by it. Ephraim must be kept 
in connection with Judah, and in dependence also, or he will slip into idolatry of 
the creature; and so the after-history testifies in the calf-worship at Bethel and 

As before, the language employed marks out for us certain divisions, — here, 
eight in number; but we must go on to find the significance of this. 

{1) " And Vie border went up to the valley of the soti of Hinnom, to the shoulder 
south of the Jebusite, tluit is Jerusalem.^ ^ Is it not strange, that as it began with 
the salt sea below, so it now begins again, though at the summit of the ascent, 
with the picture of hell? for this without question the Gei-ben-Hinnom — Ge- 
henna — is. 

Here as the " valley " speaks of the place, the "son of Hiunom " must speak 
of the people destined to it; and here solemn it is to find that " Hiunom " means 
"gratuitous, causeless." "Son of Hinnom " in Hebrew, would mean a pereon 
characterized as that. He is gratuitously what he is: there is no cause lor it 
outside himself And so Scripture puts it as to the penalty of the lost: God 
willeth not the death of a sinner. As the Lord says, weeping over Jerusalem, 
" How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth 
her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! " 

But there is a connection with the Jebusite, the "treader down," — that is, 
with the city then possessed by them, afterward, as we are at once informed, 
Jerusalem, the " foundation of peace," which is righteousneas. So that Gehenna 
is not the mere expression of power, as if Jebusite, but the execution of justice 
necessary for the establishment of peace (Is. xxxii. 17.) And here we may easily 
see that, though still going on with Benjamin, we are approaching Dan's border. 
This second part of the lK)undary-line leads us down the slope of humiliation, the 
needful humbling of man's pride; and this l)egins here with the recognition of 
divine righteousness in judgment,— yea, of the congruity with itof all divine at- 
tributes. The first part of the Iwrder beginning with the salt sea, with judgnieut 
also and man's lost condition, yet presented another truth in connection with it, 
the ahnightineas of the Deliverer. Thus they are distinct. 

iS) ''And the border went up to the top of the mount which is in the valley of 
Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of Rephaim northward. ^^ The 
mountain is not named: we do not therefore need to know its name; but it di- 
vides between the judgment of the self-ruined (Hinnom) and the valley of 
Rephaim, "those who dissolve " people with terror. These giant races, the 
enemies of God's people, overthrow one, as it were, with the mere sight of them: 
they are types of the enemy's power, monsters, and, so to speak, superhuman. 
Are we not taught then by this mount of separation, (unnamed, because we are 
simply to think of it as this) to distinguish the judgment of sin from the mere 
effect of the enemy's power? As connected with the judgment of sin it is neces- 
sary to remember that no mere lack of strength, to resist a toe however strong, or 

15. 9, 10. JOSHUA. 89 

« 1 Chron. 
IS. 5, 6. 
Jud. 18.12. 

aud went out to the cities of Mount Ephron ; and the 
border was drawn to *Baalah, that is Kirjath-jearim; 
and the border turned fi-om Baalah seaward toward 
circumstances, (may we not say ?) however pressing, must be coufouuded with 
that which is the cause of divine judgment. Hiunom here is emphasized from 
another side of it therefore: human responsibility is fully enforced. 

(5) ^^ And the border was drawn from the top of the mount to the spring of the 
waters of Nephtonh, and went out to the cities of Mount Ephron." Nephloah means 
"opening," and reminds us of the rock opened in the wilderness, and of Gtod's 
words by Isaiah, "I will open rivers in high places, and Ibuntaius in the 
midst of the valleys" (xli. 18.) If the riven rock be alluded to, we need not 
wonder at the abundance that is indicated, "the spring of the waters of Neph- 
toah," the symbol, as always, of that fullness of the Spirit which is ours as the 
result of Christ's death for us. Aud how important is this as the third step in 
the self-judgment of a Christian, that the fullness of the Spirit is really his? 
For then there cau be manifestly no lack of power at any time, except what is 
due to lack of integrity or to lack of faith. A spring will fill a vessel and over- 
flow it, except the vessel be filled with something else. And here the necessity 
and blessedness of self-j udgmeut are presse<l upon us. ' ''Be filled with the Spirit, ' ' 
says the apostle: it is an exhortation, — a duty which belongs to us ; not something 
wiiich God would withhold, or has withheld, but which, if not ours, we are not 
sincere, or else not simple, in making it our own. 

''■ And it went out to the ciiies of Mount Ephron,'''' which may as a compound 
word in Hebrew mean "a thrill" — or "quiver" — "of joy." Ecstacy is what 
the apostle associates with the fullness of the Spirit, as we see by his antithesis : 
"Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, &m< be filled with the Spirit." 
Wiien they were all filled after this manner on the day of Pentecost, the people 
said, " These men are drunk with new wine. ' ' In some respects to be compared, 
yet how different! "If we be beside ourselves," says Paul again, "it is to God. " 
And here the mount of rapture, of thrilling joy, in what significant company is 
it with the " spring of waters of Nephtoah! " But this is not something known 
merely in seclusion ; there is a busy hum of life about it : cities — and the word 
used means places of busy concourse — cluster upon Mount Ephron; the activities 
of divine life go with the joy of the Spirit. 

[4) "'And: the border was drawn to Baalah, that is, Kirjath-Jearim." The 
number 4 is that which, from its being the first capable of true division, ex- 
presses weakness, aud thus speaks of the creature, necessarily weak as such, and 
liable to failure. It is also the number of testing, which brings out failure, 
and of the practical walk in which it is displayed. These lines run into one 
another, and under this number we find in general these thoughts together, as 
we have seen in Moses' fourth book at large. From the third to the fourth of 
any series of this kind we expect generally a descent in chai-acter therefore, and 
are rarely mistaken. This makes it at first sight strange that at the fourth point 
of the border here we find nothing but the name of a city which seems to sug- 
gest other thoughts. Baalah means "mistress, possessor," the other name of 
which is Kirjath-Jearim, the "city of the woods. " It is mainly noted in Israel's 
history as the place where the ark, after its return from the Philistines lay un- 
housed—of its proper house— and well nigh hidden, all the davs of Saul. " At 
Ephratah we heard of it;" says David: " we found it in the fields of the wood." 
And from thence he brought it to Zion. 

Baalah, though certainly meaning "mistress" in Hebrew, has been thought 
to mean "belonging to Baal ;" and this seems supported by the fact that 
in the list of the cities of Jndah {v. 60) it is given as Kirjath-Baal.— the "city 
of Baal." This seem as if it might set aside dispute; but one who has thought 
much on Scripture is slow to believe that there is in it any change without a 
meaning. Tliat full inspiration, which we shall not here question, which we 
must leave the risk of questioning to those who dare to take it, surely requires 

90 JOSHUA. 15. 10, 11. 

Mount Seir, and passed to the shoulder of Mount Je- 
arim northward (that is Chesalon), and went down to 
"Beth-shemesh, and passed ^Timnah; and the border 

b Gen. 38. 
Jud. 14. 1. 

ns to believe as much as this; and we shall gain much by acting as if we be- 
lieved it. 

If Baalah be " mistress, " it is at the same time a word little used in Scripture, 
and twice out of three times in ill connections, though baal the masculine form 
is freely enough used for " owner, master, husband." The "lady-" city is no 
strange conjunction of terms; and its import is easy enough; as that of queen- 
city, even in our own days. 

Kirjath-Jearim, "city of the woods," does not seem readily to lend itself to 
interpretation in the way we seek. Jam; "wood" primarily means "redund- 
ance, overflowing," and so a " thicket of trees," from the exuberance and lux- 
uriance of vegetable life. But this in contrast with a fruitful field is used in 
Scripture as implying a useless prodigality (Is.xxxii. 15); and a city of woods or 
thickets would convey more strongly this thought of waste land not really bar- 
ren but devoted to what was of little profit. 

As connected with this it is used also as the symbol of pride doomed to de- 
struction, to ax or fire, and thus it comes round to the thought contained in 
Baalah, a city of woods, and not of fruitful fields, barren of self-support, while 
it remains in haughty idleness, drawing from othei-s what it does not repay. 

So many of the lessons of Scripture have to do with pride, the great evil of 
man's fallen nature, by which in various ways and in very humble degrees of it, 
man would still be " as God ; ' ' can it be wondered that the number of failure 
and of creature-weakness is attached to it here ? For weakness with us is strength, 
and strength is weakness: he that exalteth himself must be abased, while he 
that humbleth himself is exalted. And this is indeed one inveterate evil and 
cause of all failure, which, in this line we are upon, (drawing close now to Dan,) 
could not be omitted from the materials of self-judgment which are being fur- 
nished to us here. Ah, what spendthrift prodigality of human strength is there 
at the bidding of this Pharaoh, and how we toil to build pyramids, which when 
built are but sepulchres at last ! 

And after all Baalah and Baal-worship are but too closely united, so that Kir- 
jath-Baal, as a synonym for Baalah can easily be undei-stood. Baal is "lord," 
in that sense in which God disowns it for Himself He will not be Baali, but 
Ishi, the title, not of mere authority, but of endeared relationship. (Hos. ii. 16.) 
Baai is force, power, and this is the god of pride, in the service of wbich it toils. 
How different the yoke of Him who, when He offers it to us, bids us "leani 
of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, that ye may fiind rest unto your 
souls" ! (Matt. xi. 29.) 

And now we reach the border of Dan — 

(5) ^^And the border hirnedfrom Baalah seaward toward Mount Seir, and passed 
to the shoulder of Mount Jearim northward, that is Chesalon; and went down to Beth- 
shemcsJi, and passed by Tiinnah. ' ' 

Now for the first time, as we come to Dan, it is noticed that the border turns 
seaxoard. It is the regular word for " west," and of course the general direction 
has >)een west all through, but now it is directly so, and we are called to obser\ e 
it. Of the two tribes that lie side by side with Judah to the north, Benjamin 
lies toward the Jordan, Dan toward the sea, and these are their respective 
limits. The sea is also Jndah's western border, the fourth in order on this 
account. It is the picture of man fallen, in his restlessness and barrenness, and 
chafing against all restraint. Yet it is that out of which the influence of heaven 
can draw up the fertilizing rain, as God's mercy draws from man's misery its 
opportunity to display itself The very picture of trial is found in " those who 
go down to" the sea in ships, who have itlieir business in the great waters; " but 
"these men see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep." (Ps. cvii.) 

15. 11. JOSHUA. 91 

went out to the shoulder of Ekron northward ; and the 
border was drawn to Shichron, and passed by Mount 
Baalah, and went out to Jabneel : and the border ended 
at the sea. 

Trial is needed because of what we are, is adapted to our condition, and in it 
God's governmental ways are often most clearly seen. 

The line passes then seaward from Baalah to Mount Seir. Evidently the rep- 
etition of the last named, Baalah, is meant to show how it governs the next part 
of the road: pride must be abased, yet the road does not at once descend; on the 
contrary we find a "mount; " but we are going seaward, (the way of trial) and 
the mount is "Seir," the "rugged. " The name certainly has no pleasant sug- 
gestion for an Israelite, though of course not Esau's mount, but only like it. It 
suggests hostility as well as roughness; and though God "gave Mount Seir to 
Esau," it was as a gift suited to the man, — a rough abode for a rough person. 
After all, an Edomite might flourish where an Israelite w ould starve. 

A mount was not necessarily of evil significance, as we know. Mount Zion is 
to be the joy of the whole earth. Israel's portion was largely mountain. Yet 
to humble the pride indicated by Baalah, a "rough mount" would be more 
suited than a valley. If we seek high things God may give them to make us 
realize that adversity may easily come in this shape. Thus Mount Seir is " sea- 
ward " from Baalah. 

God's guidance is for blessing in all this; and thus now we find the line pass- 
ing to the shoulder of another mount, not rugged but leafy, the ' ' mount of 
woods; " which cannot but recall the " city of woods, " which was the other name 
for Baalah itself But there is no city here; it is as if passed away; and only 
the woods remain, a mountain of woods, not perhaps as rough as Seir, but hardly 
pleasantly suggestive yet. The city is gone, the hum of busy intercourse is ex- 
changed for the loneliness in which we come so often to a better mind; and there 
before us are only the " woods" — the profitless prodigality of pride, emphasized 
as this last by being a mountain forest. 

We are traveling northward, facing mysteries which we have to learn ; and the 
token that they are being learnt is naturally in the intei-pretation here — "that 
is Chesalon: " only a slightly changed form of the last word in the sentence of 
the Psalmist upon those whose " inward thought is that their houses shall con- 
tinue forever and their dwelling places unto all generations, and" who "call 
the lauds after their own names. This their way" he says "is their /o/?y." 
The word means " confidence " as well as folly , the folly of a false confidence. 
But here we are surely not to take it as the sentence passed by another, but by a 
soul upon itself The "city" that should have remained is passed ; its houses 
have not continued: there is not Kirjath-Jearim, but only Jearim. It is repent- 
ance wrought by God in the soul; in evidence of which the line now runs down- 
ward ; there is seLf-humbling; and the next place that is reached is how different ! 
It is Beth-shemesh, " /Ae abode of the sm«." 

For the sun dwells in the valleys ; though the spiritual truth goes beyond the 
natural type. But in the valleys its influence is most felt, even naturally. Of 
the spiritual truth, "thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, 
whose name is Holy ; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is 
of a humble and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive 
the heart of the contrite ones." (Is. Ivii. 15.) Thus Beth-shemesh could not be 
reached but on the descent : how beautifully every turn of the line develops the 
meaning ! how plainly the spiritual meaning governs all ! Is there not in all 
this verbal inspiration ? Surely no one who reverently examines it can longer 
question ! But to proceed : — 

^^And it ivent down to Beth-shemesh, and passed Timnah.^^ Timnah means 
"apportionment," "what is measured out." A beautiful sign of true hum- 
bling and of one with whom the high and lofty One dwells, that he takes his 
portion now as measured out by Him and craves no more. 

7 ii. 

92 JOSHUA. 15. 12. 

c Num.34.6. 

d (V. 12.) 
The west 
border : 
the sea 

(d) And the ' western border is the great sea and [its] 
coast. This is the border of the children of Judah 
round about, according to their families. 

{6) ^^And the border went out to the shoulder of Ekron northward.^ ^ Ekron seems 
to mean "rooting out;" and we have before met with it as a Philistine city. 
While the meaning of the word must of course be the same, its application, 
Avhen Ekron became Israelite, would be naturally different. Ekron falls within 
Judah 's boundary-line, and is named afterward as a city of Judah; yet it is 
given to Dan. If we are spiritually to apply it as the eradication of sin, it 
will indeed naturally fall to the latter as a necessary part of self-judgment; yet 
if Judah's "praise" be the " confession of Christ's name," His having suffered 
for sins is part of the confession, which Peter links for us with "ceasing from" 
them (1 Pet. iii. 18; iv. 1.) We must preserve this link with Judah, while we 
give Dan the city. 

But what is meant by the eradication of sin ? Not certainly the rooting out 
of the old nature, as some dream. The flesh lusts against the Spirit even in one 
who has the Spirit; and the remedy prescribed by the apostle is not. Root out 
the flesh, nor yet. Ask God to root it out, but " Walk in the Spirit, and ye 
shall not fulfil its lusts." (Gal. v. 16, 17.) It has been suggested by some, that 
the lusting of the flesh is only in such unspiritual men as the Galatiaus; but the 
apostle certainly had not a lower standard for such than for others. What kind 
of "eradication" then can one speak of? Well, the keeping one's garden 
clean of weeds, although one cannot destroy their germs out of the soil. We 
are not to be letting one kind alone, or even cultivating it while we root out 
others. And one may be so little skilled as not to know weeds from flowers. 
There the apostle's word comes in: "I exercise myself that I may have a con- 
science void of offence toward God and toward men." (Acts xxiv. 16.) This 
earnest and absolute unsparing dealing with all sin is what seems to be meant 
by Ekron here. 

(7) Under the number seven we expect to hear of the completion of this line 
of thought; and so we do: "The border was drawn to Shicron," "satiation 
with drink," not necessarily in a bad sense. "Drink abundantly, O beloved" 
(in Cant. v. 1), is the same word. "And passed Sfount Baalah, and went out to 
JabneeV^ Baalah we have had before, and the repetition cannot be without 
meaning. Kirjath-jearim, its other name, is similarly repeated as to the last 
part of it, becoming also Mount Jearim, as here we have Mount Baalah. We 
are surely intended to draw these comparisons. Baalah is here not a city of 
man's making, but something of God's making. It does not exalt itself, as 
before : it is exalted. Then notice the last name, Jabneel ; it means, " God is 
the builder " — not man. How plain, if we put all this together, the lesson 
seems to be, that the exaltation which man misses, when seeking it for himself, 
God has for him in His own way, and satiates thus man's thirst to the full ! 
"I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness." (Ps. xvii. 15.) 

[8) Here the border ends at the sea, — somewhat disappointingly at first sight. 
And why the number 8, which would be suited enough Xo remind us of eternity, 
but what is its object here ? 

{d) The sea is the west border of Judah throughout, — the fourth border, — 
most suitably stamped thus with what speaks of trial. But tliose whom the sea 
tries, brought to their wits' end by it, and crying to Him in their trouble, find 
the wonderful works of God. The shore which is Judah's limit is that also which 
He has given the sea, and it cannot pa.s8 it, nor turn again to cover the earth. 
Every way trial ends in the demonstration of the power of God, and that 
He is for His people. At the sea, Jabneel, "God is the builder," proves itself in 
this barrier of sand, so slight as it appears, in fact so mighty. In this lesson 
these two lines unite. The sea is not to exist forever : in the new world there 
will be none; but it will abide in the voice from it which will eternally pro- 
claim the glory of God in His mastery of all circumstances, whereby all things 

15. 13-16. 



f Num. 13. 

g vers. 7, 49. 

h Jud. 1. 12- 

3. (13-19.) ' And to ''Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a por- a ch. 14. 15. 
reaiT^tion tlon among the children of Judah, according to the word 
poMei'ion °^ Jehovah to Joshua, the city of Arba the father of 
Anak, that is 'Hebron. And Caleb dispossessed of it 
the -^ three sons of Anak, Sheshai and Ahiman and Tal- 
mai, who were born to Anak. And he went up thence 
to the inhabitants of ^Debir, and the name of Debir be- 
fore was Kirjath-sepher. And Caleb said, ''Whosoever 
■work together for good, whatever their character. All conflict and trial past we 
shall praise God for the sea, and it will abide for us, as apostles and prophets 
abide, in the work that they have accomplished for us. May not this be the 
meaning of the number 8, with which the last section closes ? 

(iii.) And now we return once more to Caleb, whose history is so interwoven 
with this delineation of Judah's possession as to show plainly its great impor- 
tance for us in connection with the general lesson. Yet it has been supposed, from 
facts which will have to be considered in another place, that he was not him- 
self by right of birth a member of the tribe. And this seems confirmed by what 
is said here, that he was given a portion among the children of Judah according 
to the word of the Lord, although this last may relate to what follows rather 
than to what precedes. Caleb seems to have been of Edomite stock, one of those 
believers from among the Gentiles, of whom we find many prominent examples 
in the history of God's people, and of whom our Lord might have uttered the 
words concerning the Roman centurion, "I have not found so great faith, no. not 
in Israel." Alas, the faith found among those brought up in a certain familiar- 
ity with divine things that have only availed to deaden the wonder of them, is so 
apt to be dulled to the average as it were between faith and unfaith ; lacking 
the individuality that appears in those of whom we think as having lesser ad- 

Of Caleb's conquest we have no details. To those with whom God is, what is 
all the banded strength of the sons of Anak? Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai are 
dispossessed, and Hebron is his own. The names of the three children of Anak 
are not easy to interpret, and one can only venture to suggest their significance. 
As Auakim, ("the long-necked ") of whom it was said, " who can stand before 
the children of Anak ? " they may well represent the difl'erent forms of the pride 
of heart from which God is far off, and which is therefore the most terrible hin- 
dranceto the believer's possession of Hebron, that is "communion." Sheshai, 
which means most probably "white," may in this way speak of self-righteous- 
ness, the pride of personal character; Ahiman, if we may take it with Fausset 
to mean, "who is my brother? " of the pride of station, birth, or worldly con- 
dition; Talmai, "my furrows," of the pride of work accomplished, of one's 
doings. This certainly might well represent the whole family of Anak. They 
all fall before whole-hearted Caleb; and they as surely will before every one like 

Hebron is his own, but that is not his only possession. We hear at this point 
of another city which has already come before us, and of the meaning of which 
there is no question. Debir, we find, has had, like Hebron, its Canaan ite name : 
it was Kirjath-sepher, the "city of the book; " and how striking it is that in 
Caleb's hands the city of the book becomes the place of a divine oracle ! a writ- 
ten word merely is exchanged for a living Voice, the voice of Him who when the 
heart is right with Him, delights to draw near and speak to the heart of the 
worshiper. Is not Debir in fitting company with Hebron? is it not its 
rightful complement? For the Christian of course, the "oracle " is not divorced 
from the "book:" it neither displaces nor overrides it. Nay, the "living 
oracles " is the title of Scripture itself, which faith owns and finds true. God 
never sets aside His Word ; but the Spirit of God works with it and energizes it 
that it may be this to us, giving us the full reality of the divine Presence. 
Alas ! how few yet know this in the measure it should be known ! 

94 JOSHUA. 15. 16-19. 

smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, I will give him 
Achsah my daughter to wife. And Othniel took it, the 
son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb ; and he gave him 
Achsah his daughter to wife. And so it was, when she 
came, that she had moved him to ask of her father a 
field; and she lighted from the ass. And Caleb said 
unto her, What wouldst thou ? And she said, Give me 

It is not however Caleb himself who takes Debir, but Othniel, either his 
nephew, or a much younger brother, who gets, accordiug to promise, Achsah Ca- 
leb's daughter for his wife. Achsah would seem to mean "anklet, " as Othniel is 
said to be "lion of God." What follows, however, is full of significance. Ach- 
sah on coming to him had* urged him to ask of her father a field, and she had 
got it, but in a south laud — dry and needy : she boldly therefore goes further, 
and begs her father to give her springs of water. He gives her abundantly : 
upper springs and lower springs. 

But who canuot see that, if these be "living oracles," there must be some- 
thing deeper here? If only history, it would not seem very remarkable or 
worthy of preservation : and yet it is actually singled out from the midst of 
things apparently much more important, for repetition in the book of Judges. 
What is there so noteworthy in a young woman asking of her father a field and 
water ? Yet we are warned carefully against looking for ' ' gospel " in it ! No 
wonder, if this be the temper of even orthodox commentators, that the ' '^ higher 
critics " should be encouraged, and God's people shoidd be starved. 

If we will only remember that "all these things happened to them for types," 
and that we have thus in type our own portion before us, how fruitful indeed, 
and well worth of doul^le emphasis, Achsah's story becomes. Would only that 
we had her eagerness after a good portion, with every requisite for its enjoy- 
ment ! would that we might be bold also to add prayer to prayer, making one 
gift the argument for another, until we had blessing indeed ! Here we may be 
permitted to lose sight even of the large-hearted Caleb, and to think of One who 
surely gives with His "whole heart." Suppose Achsah had argued, "My father 
has given me already what he wished to give. I must not desire too much, nor 
reproach him as if his gift were not good enough," — what would she have done 
with her south land, and no water? And just so God often gives what He knows 
necessitates more, and delights in the faith that says, not "It is enough," but 
" It is iiot enough. ' ' Of course, we are speaking of spiritual gifts, although the 
principle is of Avider application, if we are only near enough to God to apply it 
rightly. But our land — our portion with Him — is a "south laud." It faces the 
sun, and we need the Suu : we never can have too much of it ; precious things 
are put forth by the Sun : all we need is water, springs of water, living water ; 
and Caleb's liberality in this respect is but the faint image of God's. 

Our portion is workable land : it calls for diligence, for labor upon it ; and it 
will repay labor richly too. Would that the j^eople of God would realize this 
more ! Ah, how it needs to be insisted upon, to Ije repeated, not once only, but 
continually. And thus the precious Word of God, by which alone our portion 
is made our own, how we should search it, dig into it, not be content to leave it 
so much to a special class to assert patent rights as its interpreters, while thank- 
ful for every right thought that any can contribute to us. But we must seek 
and use the water above all ; for the south land is one of all lands most depend- 
ent; and we know how to ask believiugly from Him who giveth to all liberally, 
and upbraideth not. 

Then there are "upper springs and lower springs," — those that spring out of 
valleys as well as out of hills, — wonderful high levels with large outlook, and 
low places, as in the valley of humiliation, where the streams linger, and fruits 
corresponding to each plane. There are glorious heights where, far above all 

* So I think it should be read, otherwise the connection is verj' difficult. 

15. 19. JOSHUA. 95 

a blessing ; for thou hast given me a south land : give 
me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper 
springs and the lower springs. 

storms, we gaze into clear, transparent, measnreless infinity. And there are 
sweet recesses where we are shut in and see little, but where still there is the 
same Presence and the same Voice : ' ' breadth and length and depth and height ' ' 
are with all their variety still filled with one uniting, unifying blessedness, 
"the love of Christ that passeth knowledge." 

(iv.) We have now a detailed list of the cities of Judah, in which we are 
evidently not to think (or but secondarily, ) of the people that filled them. They 
stand rather for localities, varied circumstances, conditions, expei-iences, in and 
through which God is known, and the worship of His people ascends to Him. 
It is thus, as I believe, they fill the fourth place here. 

It is but a list of names, which seem indeed to have little for us, except as we 
find it in the meanings of the names themselves. The best of commentators 
find here nothing but topography, and can give nothing but criticisms upon the 
language and historical references. There is surely room, therefore, for another 
treatment of them, which, if it can in any tolerable way give them consistent 
spiritual meauing, will demonstrate itself as true interpretation. If it speak to 
us in coherent language, — if it bring us lessons of holy wisdom, — why should 
we doubt that there is mind behind it? and then whose mind can it be but that 
of Him whom all His works confess ? 

We dread imagination; yet God has given us imagination, and appeals to it. 
We may abuse it — truly: not a good gift but may be abused. Have we not as 
much cause to dread the unbelief that carries with it its badge of weary dullness 
and inanity, which, because it is unbelief, can never "see the glory of God"? 
Scripture is fuller of this than even our imagination can easily suggest; and in- 
deed it is imagination (for unbelief has its own,) that we have to oppose here 
with Scripture, — Scripture which asserts for itself that it is all " profitable for 
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," so that we 
must suppose even a list of Israel's cities should l)e that. Let us see if, by 
God's goodness, we may discover this : let us seek, that we may find. And 
Christians should be able to discern the diffierence between the day-dreams of the 
visionary and the clear sight of faith. "I speak as to ^Nise men," says the 
apostle ; "judge ye what I say." 

One may freely confess that the subject is a peculiarly diflScult one. The 
names are often hard to interpret, and the vocabularies give a bewildering 
variety of meanings. They are often capa])le of very difterent ones, and the 
difiiculty is increased by conjectural vagaries of critics, who are as much 
troubled with imagination as any poor allegorical interpreter needs to be. 

But there are difficulties with the text also, and some mistakes seem un- 
doubtedly to have crept into the copies. These we shall have occasion to 
notice as we come to them. Here, if any where in Scripture, they would natu- 
rally be found. The numerical symbolism should be of the greatest help here, 
as it is all through, a check upon mere fancy instead of a loose rein to it, which 
brings in, indeed, something of the certainty of mathematical science into inter- 
pretation. If any one imagines otherwise, let him try any list of names in an 
uninspired book, and see how he will succeed, with the help of the liveliest 
fancy, in finding in it the faintest resemblance to what we trust to show to be 

(a) The cities are gathered in larger and smaller groups, and sometimes num- 
bered. Here again is a help to true intei-pretation, a guard against a false one. 
We have separately the cities in the south, (the Negeb;) in the Shephelah, or low- 
land ; in the hill-country ; and in the wilderness. The south (or Negeb, not the 
usual term for the south quarter,) we have seen already to speak of a dry land, 
yet productive, if its one necessity be met — that of water. As facing Edom, and 
the more distant Egypt, it is a land peculiarly dependent upon the rain of 

96 JOSHUA. 15. 20-22. 

4. (20-630 
The cltles,- 
the various 
which fXir- 
Dlsh praise. 

* (a) This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children 
of Judah according to their families : — The cities at the 
extremity of the tribe of the children of Judah toward 
the border of Edom, in the south : — 

Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur, and Kinah, and Di- 

a (20-32.) In the south. 

heaven. It was full of cities once, now shut up in desolation. As a needy laud, 
it was well fitted to remind the dwellers in it of the divine Hand upon which 
they were dependent. It will be no wonder, then, if its cities preach specially 
to us of the power and work of God, as in fact they do ; lying also more or less 
near to the southern border, the line of which we have followed throughout. 

(*) The smaller divisions may be traced by the want of the usual conjunction, 
the first group in this way consisting of nine cities, which would again, accord- 
ing to the usual division of nine, fall into three threes. Thus already the struc- 
ture is marked out for us before we have looked at a name, and we have a strict 
curb upon imagination. These are the numbers attached to the names and their 
divisions ; if the symbolism of numbers is preserved here, then they will be 
justified by the significance throughout : — 

fl. Kabzeel, ( 1. Kinah, ( 1. Kedesh, 

2. Eder, 2. \ 2. Dimonah, 3. \ 2. Hazor, 

S. Jagur ; ( 3. Adadah ; (. 3. Ithnan. 

We must take them up separately first, before we can see the meaning of this 

• ' Kabzeel ' ' means ' ' God gathers ; ' ' and the name of God {Et) is that which 
speaks of poicer. A good thing for Israel to be reminded of, and a real founda- 
tion for a nation's praise. It afiirms their unity as from God, the practical 
accomplishment of it as from His mighty hand. As a first thought, it is also a 
simple one, and numerically clear. 

"Eder" is "flock," from a verb which according to Parkhurst means "to 
separate, sever, di.stribute : " "a flock of sheep or herd of kine, which are sepa- 
rated or disposed at the will of the herdsman." Such a flock too is Israel, to be 
distributed and disposed at the will of their Great Shepherd ; and this is the 
natural sequence and supi)lement to the thought in "Kabzeel," in some sense 
antithetical also, as their numbers are. 

' ' Jagur ' ' means ' ' he sojourns, ' ' the word used by the Psalmist for ' ' abiding ' ' 
in God's tabernacle. (P.s. xv. 1; Ixi. 4.) The land of Israel was God's, and they 
were His guests — "strangers and sojourners with Me," He says. (Lev. xxv. 23.) 

God's sovereignty shines in these three names, and is the thread that unites 
them together. He gathers them by His power, arranges and disposes of them 
in His wisdom, entertains them in sovereign goodness ; and these are surely all 
materials for praise. These cities lie also near the border of Edom, and in a 
marked way characterize Israel as in opposition to the independence and pro- 
fanity of Esau. 

But if God is owned their Sovereign in the first three, He is seen no less as 
their Saviour in the second three; and this comes in natural as well as numerical 
order here. For "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be 
saved." Thus we have now — 

Kinah, which, from kanah, may mean "purchase." 

Dimonah, "sufiicient numbering," the terms of the purchase: "He was 
numbered with the transgressors : " the full price paid. 

Lastly, Adadah, which may most literally mean, "the prey has departed." 
For " therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He .sball divide 
the spoil with the strong : because He hath poured out His soul unto death, and 
was numbered with the transgressors, and bare the sin of many, and made 
intercession for the transgressors." 

15. 22-25. JOSHUA. 97 

( 1 Sam. 23. 

1 Sam. 26. 
2, etc. 
ver. 55. 

monah, and Adadah, and Kadesh, and Hazor, and 
Ithnan ; 

'Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth, and New Hazor, and 
Kerioth-hetzron, that [was] Hazor; 

The third series suitably begins, as a Leviticns one, with Kedesh, the "sanc- 
tuary. " It is Kadesh-barnea that is meant, and which we know was on the 
southern boundary; but "barnea," ''the wanderer," is rejected, as unsuitable 
to what is here, and only the first part retained. 

Hazor also, "an inclosure," is, with Kadesh, on the boundary; but — 

Ithnan is a place which is only mentioned here, and means, apparently, "he 
shall spread himself abroad." Thus we have again easily connected thoughts : 
a sanctuary — a safe retreat ; an inclosure — a hedge around; and yet that only 
keeps out evil, does not prevent extension and multiplication. These thoughts 
all connect with sanctification, but speak, as all do here, rather of work done for 
one that this may be, than of the internal work, except in some measure the last, 
which gives the result, and which, as the third name in a third series, naturally 
emphasizes more what is internal. Here, then, the first group of cities is com- 
pleted : in it divine power manifests itself throughout. 

(**) The second series has but five names, and is a simple one. Young gives 
the first, Ziph, as "place of refining," and this seems to agree well with the 
general thought of the series, and to characterize it. Humiliation and its results 
seem to be here spoken of, and this is a deeper necessity for us, and a matter for 
more abundant praise, than it is easy to believe. Yet if pride was that by which 
an angel became a deAdl, the sin which alone seems possible to one in all the 
created perfection which Ezekiel ascribes to him (Ezek. xxviii. 15, 17), one may 
not wonder if even as saints we have to be guarded in every possible way 
against it. 

Telem, "oppression," — a strange word amid the rest — seems thus, however, 
intelligible ; and from God's hand it may come sweetened, though an enemy for 
enmity alone be the oppressor. 

Bealoth, "on the ascent," comes suitably in the third place; for with God 
there is always a way out ; and a way out is always a way up. Then comes, 
under the number of weakness, — 

Hazor-hadattah, a "new inclosure," a fencing about still for safety, while 
relieved from the past distress ; and then — 

Kerioth-hetzron, ' ' cities of inclosure, ' ' which is, after all, old Hazor with a 
new meaning. When the fencing round is found to be the folding about of the 
everlasting arms, and that is consciously fulfilled to the soul, " Thou shalt com- 
pass me about with songs of deliverance" (Ps. xxxii. 7), then begins the stir 
of busy, fruitful life of which the " cities " speak. 

All this is Judah's portion ; and we have only looked at a little corner yet. 

(***) With the third group, another nine, we come to what is strictly internal 
work— -divine work in the soul ; * a theme for praise indeed, as that which alone 
makes competent for praise. These nine divide once more (as nine seems always 
to do) into three threes : — 

(1. Amam, ( 1. Hazar-gadda, ( 1. Hazar-shual, 

2. Shema, 2. \ 2. Heshmon, 3. \ 2. Beersheba, 

S. Moladah; ( S. Beth-pelet ; ( 3. Biziothiah. 

The first three begin with that with which all here must liegin, — ^with new 

" Amam : " I take it to mean " their mother," and to refer to the common 
mother of us all. Eve fallen has involved in her fall all the children descended 
naturally from her : " Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did nay 
mother conceive me." (Ps. li. 5.) With this truth, sad and humbling as it is, 

* For full detail as to the nine names here, see my tract, " From Amam to Biziothiah." 

JOSHUA. 15. 26-28. 

A Gen. 21.22 


1 Chron. 4. 


Amam, and Shema, and Moladah, and Hazar-gaddah, 
and Heshmon, and -^Beth-pelet, and Hazar-shual, and 
*Beersheba, and Biziothiah; 

■we must begin, or we cannot understand the necessity for new birth. Two 
words, which we must connect together in order to apprehend their force, give 
us now this very simply. 

"Shema," "report," and — 

"Moladah," "birth," thus easily convey to us the truth which Peter empha- 
sizes, — " Being bom again, not of coiTuptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the 
Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. " (1 Pet. i. 23.) "Faith cometh 
by a report, and the report by the word of God." (Rom. x. 17, Gk.) Here the 
first triad ends ; the first stage of the journey is reached. 

"Hazar-gaddah," an "inclosure of conflict" begins the next three. This is 
now the internal strife which is found after new birth, — " I see another law in 
my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into cap- 
tivity to the law of sin which is in my members." (Rom. vii. 23.) "Hazar," 
"inclosure," speaks, on the other hand, of the law of God, which while we are 
under it in conscience, holds us in for conflict. "The strength of sin is the law," 
though it condemns and urges us against it. This is the lesson of Pharaoh, 
Migdol, and the Sea, and which is acted out for us in that grand type. A new 
deliverance is needed, of which we have the method revealed in — 

"Heshmon," "quiet reckoning." We do not conquer by fighting, but by 
faith : "I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. vii. 25.) It is by 
learning our place before God in Christ, in full simplicity, aud that God does 
not identify us with the evil in us, but with Him who by His cross has put it 
away, that we reach — 

" Beth-pelet, " " the house of escajje, " the sanctuary into which He has en- 
tered, and where He abides for us. How safe and complete a shelter ! But it 
is in the third series that we find the full result. As in all three, the fii-st of the 
triad is the most mysterious : it is — 

' ' Hazar-shual, " " the inclosure of the jackal " — " the jackal-pen. " " Shual ' ' 
is the word translated ' ' foxes ' ' in the common version, but for which, in gen- 
eral "jackal" is allowed to be better. Both are "burrowers," as the word 
means ; but the jackal only is a carrion-feeder, as Ps. Ixiii. 10, and gregarious, 
as Samson's exploit would imply. (Judg. xv. 4.) The two former habits, and 
the whole connection in which we find the word here, induce the belief that it 
is the symbol of the evil nature, the flesh, with its earthliness and its greed for 
corruption. This jackal-nature cannot be slain, moreover. It can Ije '■'■penned,'''' 
and thus practically "annulled," the real word in Rom. vi. 6, the fruit of faith 
in what the cross has done for us : "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified 
with Him, that the body of sin might he annulled, that henceforth we should 
not serve sin." Faith indeed must keep the pen, even when deliverance is fnlly 
known ; and so it is further written, '■'■Reckon yourselves dead indeed unto sin, 
and alive unto God in Christ Jesus ; " and " Let not sin, therefore, reign in your 
mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts therex)f " {vv. 11, 12.) The 
knowledge of deliverance, however, by a soul practically in the faith of it, pens 
the jackal-nature. 

So we come to " Beersheba," " the well of the oath," or "of the seven," the 
number of lambs by which the well that he had dug was secured to Abraham. 
So to the delivered l>eliever the well of water is secured by divine promise, 
founded on the perfection of what Christ is for God. All the fullness of the 
Spirit belongs to him, and yet not without the need of diligence on his part, as 
the well implies : not a free-flowing spring, though this is the suited symbol at 
other times, but the need recognized of maintaining access to these living 
waters. The numerical place dwells upon the oflSce of the Spirit as a witness to 

Lastly, we have "Biziothiah," which Young gives as "the house of Jah's 

15. 29-31. JOSHUA. 99 

Baalah, and lim, [and Ezem, and Eltolad,] and 
Chesil, [and Hormah, and ' Ziklag,] and Madmannah, 

olives." It may be, more simply, "among Jah's olives;" but either yields a 
good sense. Not only is the believer granted access to the living water, he is 
himself a vessel of the Spirit, of which the oil of the olive is an rmdoubted 
symbol. The oil resides in the olive ; and so the Psalmist : "But I am like a 
green olive-tree in the house of God : I trust in the mercy of God forever and 
ever." (Ps. lii. 8.) 

How beautifully do these names tell out, from first to last, the internal work 
in the soul of the saint ! The exact numerical significance may be traced just 
as fully, Hazar-gaddah, as the first of the second series, speaking of the reign of 
law; and the series itself, of deliverance from the law; Hazar-shual, the first of 
the third series, of the dominion of the Spirit ; and the series itself, of realized 
sanctificatiou. What could be more entirely appropriate and more beautiful? 
The other numbers are easy. 

(****) We come now to the fourth group of these cities of the south, and 
which ends the catalogue. Here we have in our Bibles thirteen names, a num- 
ber of which as yet we have no knowledge. The two final names, indeed, "Ain 
and Eimmon," says Keil, "are given as Simeonite towns, and, being written 
without the copula, are treated as one name in chap. xix. 7 and 1 Chron. iv. 32, 
although they are reckoned as two separate towns in chap. xix. 7. But as they 
were also caUed ' En-Rimmon ' after the captivity, and are given as one single 
place in Neh. xi. 29, they were probably so close together that in the course of 
time they grew into one." Some would reckon them, therefore, as one here ; 
and if that could be done, the number would be 12, which, according to what 
seems as yet the constant law, would be divided as four threes. Trying to 
divide them thus, however, there seems not a ray of light as to their meaning. 

The whole number of these cities of the Negeb is given in ver. 32 as twenty- 
nine — "twenty-nine cities and their villages." But there are, in fact, thirty- 
six names, and not twenty-nine ; and commentatoi-s have in general, with Keil, 
taken this as a textual error, the Syriac vei-sion reading thirty-six, which would 
be right. However, the correction would be very easy to be made, and quite 
likely to be a critical emendation only, as Fay allows. 

But another alternative has been adopted by other commentators ; and HoUen- 
beck suggests that the additional names have been interpolated from Neh. xi. 
This is unlikely enough, for the books are too far apart in time. A more likely 
interpolation, if we must (as seems plain,) suppose error somewhere, would be 
from Simeon's cities, as given in chap. xix. The cities of Simeon, Avho was to 
be "scattered in Israel," were all given him in Judah's territory ; and some ot 
them have been actuallv thus already mentioned, as Moladah, Hazar-shual, and 
Beersheba,— names which assuredly we could not afibrd to lose out of the places 
which they occupy. Moreover, if "we would blot out all Simeonite cities out of 
the list, tliere would be now a deficiency as before an excess. Blot them out, 
however, out of this fourth part only* the number becomes exactly right- 
twenty -nine cities. 

Moreover, looking at the list so altered, light begins at once to dawn on us. 
Tliere are thus but six cities left, if we retain Baalah, which may indeed very 
probably be the Balah of Simeon, filling the right place in the list in the nine- 
teenth chapter ; but which, if so, is essentially altered in meaning as well as in 
spelling, so that we cannot reckon it as the same really. 6 is a more likely 
number than 12 in such a record as the present, approaching, and indeed going 
beyond, 4 in its significance of evil, and yet, as we know, speaking of it always 
as under the curb of divine power, and of final victory over it. While 12, though 
related to 4— as 4 x 3— contains the 4 as the earth-number, being manifest 
divine government over the earth. 4, in the present case, speaks rathe r of the 

* They are bracketed in the text above. 

100 JOSHUA. 15. 31, 32. 

and Sansannah, [and Lebaoth,] and Shilhim, [and Ain, 
and Rimmon:] all the cities twenty-nine, and their 

weakness and failnre of the creature, which, taken in connection with the 6 of 
victory, a distinct meaning emerges at once for the whole series. 

And here, first, ' ' Baalah, " " mistress, ' ' whose lesson we have already in another 
Baalab upon the northern boundary. Its clear right to its numerical place, and 
its indication of that pride that goeth before a fall are equally plain. 

Then " lim," the plural of "Ai," " heaps of ruins," gives the fall itself; not, I 
think, that outward fall which is often but the judgment upon the sin, leading, 
as in Peter's case, to self-judgment and recovery from it, but rather a simply 
spiritual collapse, which may be startling often in its rapidity. 

Thirdly — the number of manifestation, — "Chesil," when applied to man, is 
invariably, in our Bible, translated "fool." It is a word we have met before in 
but a slightly altered form, (in connection too with Baalah,) as Chesalon, on the 
northern boundary; and there, as significant of folly in a special form, "the 
folly of a false confidence." This is what ever, indeed, deceives man to his fall, 
a lalse faith being as potent for evil as the true for good, and this faith being 
constantly se//-confideuce in some form. "Having no confidence in the flesh" 
means, for the Christian, power in the Spirit ; and in this sense, "happy is the 
man that feareth always, but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mis- 
chief" (Prov. xxviii. 14.) Here is the divine interpretation of failure. 

Fourthly, " Madmaunah " gives the open downfall which brings man into his 
native weakness, and so to himself Most give it, indeed, as "dung-hill ; " but 
in Jer. xlviii. 2 there is a play upon the name, though of another place : "Thou 
shalt be cut down, O Madmen ; " perhaps, "Thou shalt be leveled, O leveler ; " 
where the B. V., "Thou shalt be put to silence," seems to miss the connection. 
The Septuagint and Vulgate agree in rendering the word as " cart " of a thresh- 
ing-floor (Is. XXV. 10) ; and such a figure would be quite appropriate here. God 
has to humble and bring down when we have stiflened ourselves against Him, 
though the wheat is only helped by the threshing, and even Satan's sieve He 
uses to accomplish this. 

"Sansannah," "palm-cluster," then speaks of peaceable fruits of righteous- 
ness found by exercise under God's chastening hand. And — 

"Shilhim," "armed " men, in the sixth place, which speaks of victory, may 
remind us of how experience of the past prepares for the future, and the 
weapons of the enemy taken from his hand may be used against him. 

Thus, in view of failure also, we can praise our unfailing God. The furnace 
of trial is secured by covenant for us, and, if we endure chastening, God dealeth 
with us as with sons. Here the enumeration of the cities of the Negeb ends, 
and the numerical structure, in the consistent exposition which it gives of the 
last portion, seems to prove the number 29 of the closing verse to be the true one, 
and therefore the interpolation of names from the Simeonite list, the order 
Ijeing also exactly similar in the two places. 

{b) We come now to the cities of the lowland, a term which, though objected 
to by some, is only the simple rendering of "Shephelah." As a district, how- 
ever, it includes both the Phili.stine plains and the low hills, and does not extend 
north of Carmel. In its designation it is already physically in agreement with 
the number attached to it. Whatever may be the connection, it seems to me, 
however, that relationship is what is pictured in the cities now before us ; and 
here in the first place the need of new relations, because of the rupture of the old 
by sin. And these new relations, which are in and through Christ, meant for 
Him that wondrous humiliation which "shephelah " from "shaphel," to hum- 
ble, would point out. 

(*) The cities here are arranged in three larger groups ; first, of which con- 
nection, fourteen names, "Gederah " and " Gederothaim " being only the singular 

15. 33, 34. JOSHUA. 101 

(6) In the lowland: — "Eshtaol, and Zoreah, and Ash- 
nah, and Zanoah, and Engannim, Tappuah and Enam, 

mJud. 13.25. 
Jud. 16. 31. 

and dual forms of the same word, and given as alternative names for the same 
place, and the connective " ve " heiug used for " or " as vrell as "and." Other- 
wise there would be fifteen cities, and the number given would be in disagree- 
ment with the facts, as some believe they are. But we are not at liberty to 
suppose changes in the text, when there is no absolute need of them, and there 
seems none here. 

The arrangement of the names, as indicated by the presence or absence of the 
conjunction, is 5, 2, 2, 5, or thus : — 

Eshtaol and Zoreah and Ashnah and Zanoah and Engannim ; 

Tappuah and Enam ; 

Jarmuth and Adullam ; 

Socoh and Azekah and Shaaraim and Adithalm and Gederah, or Gederothaim. 
And, first, "Eshtaol," a word, like many others, capable of diverse significa- 
tions, means, if we may judge by the connection, ' ' strong woman ; ' ' and this seems 
to lead us back, as in a previous group, to the beginning. "Strong woman" 
looks, indeed, like pure satire upon Eve, who fell at the first breath of temptation ; 
yet, in fact she ventured upon her strength when the sense of weakness and in- 
sufficiency would have preserved her. Adam was not deceived, but she waited 
not for counsel from him to whom God had joined her. She acted in indepen- 
dence, and then proved her strength only to pull down her husband with her in 
her fall. Here, alas, she was strong enough, and how often since has this story 
repeated itself! Thus — 

"Zoreah," "hornet," which derives its name from its virulent "stroke," — 
a word closely related to that for leprosy, the well-known type of sin in its 
inward malignancy, — stands in ominous conjunction with this woman's strength. 
And this is what strength in man naturally connects itself with ever since, and 
the secret of overcoming still is, "When I am weak, then am I strong." 

"Ashnah," next, may mean "returning," closely related to "shanah," 
" year," which is a revolution of the seasons, a circle returning into itself And 
thus man's life has become but a brief cycle of development and decay, and the 
voice that called man from the dust, says, " Return, ye children of men." (Ps. xc. 
3.) This is the seal divinely put upon man's condition, to manifest it to himself 
His link with God is gone. The old relation is ended, and though man exists 
beyond death, it is naturally only in a state to which judgment has brought him. 

But if man but accepts this judgment, there is mercy with God, and thus in 
the next place, under the number which speaks of weakness and of failure, 
" Zanoah ' ' announces a ' ' provision of rest. ' ' Not in the grave, thank God, but in 
restoration to Him. Then Paradise returns, and this the fifth name declares — 

"En-gannim," a "fountain of gardens," — Eden, as it were, multiplied, and 
watered by living water, with the vision of which the revelation of God closes ; 
the next thing is perfection — ' ' face to face. " 

Is it but the old relationship restored ? No, blessed be Gtod again, it is not. 
This the next two names, held fast to each other, tell us : — 

"Tappuah and Enam," as the lexicons say, "an apple" and a "double 

Common thought is that the ' ' apple " was the instrument of man's fall. Here, 
at least, an apple may disclose the mystery of man's recovery. The simplest 
things in nature are full of divine secrets. We miss them because we so little 
care to find them. The world has abundant treasures to pour out at the feet of 
him who is not of the world, and it will be good if we find in this place a lesson 
of this kind. 

"Tappuah," — whether "apple," "citron," "apricot," or whatever the 
learned may decide it to be, — is named in Hebrew from its fragrance : it means 

102 JOSHUA. 15. 35, 36. 


2 Chron. 

11. 7. & 


Jarmuth and "Adullam, "Socoh and Azekah, and 
Shaaraim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, or Gederoth- 
aim : fourteen cities and their villages. 

' ' breather, ' ' its emitted fragrance being called its ' ' breath. ' ' But what then 
has this for us ? Let us meditate upon it aud see. ' ' Meditate upon these 
things ; give thyself wholly unto them, that thy profiting may appear unto all." 

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into 
Ids nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." 

This is figurative language also. All the deepest things are expressed to us 
in figures. God's inbreathing into man, never said to have been vrith the 
beasts, is that which implies the new aud peculiar relationship between Him 
aud this new creature of His making. Man is the oflspriug of God, and thus 
in his image. His spirit is from the " Father of spirits ; " and the word which 
answers to this in Hebrew, as in our own language, is in fact identical with the 
word "breath." But God's breath, what is it? Common air? And man's 
spirit, what is it? That which is in constant influx and reflux, — never at a 
stay? This rubbish of materialism the devil must laugh over, when he sees the 
flimsy structures men can build with it. No, this breath of God is man's true, 
personal, aud eternal essence, — spirit from the Spirit, aud " what man knoweth 
the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him ? " It is the permanent 
difierence which exists between himself and every other being that exists upon 
the earth. 

But the relationship which is here with God can only abide aright as man 
abides in moral likeness also. This the Lord affirms to the Jews, who claimed 
God for their Father. (Jno. viii. 42.) The competency for the place is lost by 
moral insolvency, and God must again come in by salvation and quickening 
from the dead, that men may be restored. Thus, again, having recourse to 
the figures by which God is pleased to communicate so often His deep things 
to us, the Lord, in the midst of His disciples, on the day of His resurrection 
from the dead, ^^ breathed on them, and saith unto them. Receive ye the Holy 
Ghost." (Jno. XX. 22.) As "last Adam" now, in contrast with the first, who 
as breathed upon, became a living soul, He is a "quickening Spirit." (1 Cor. 
XV. 45.) A new life from God in Christ brings His people into new and better 
relationship, and Christ is the Inspirer, — "Breather," " Tappuah," of whom 
the spouse may indeed say, "His mouth is most sweet." (Songv. 16.,) Here, 
indeed, is fragrance from God and for God Himself 

And then we have "Enam," "a double spring," — ^living waters. "He 
breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.^^ Here is 
surely the spring, — yea, the "double spring," — for such was the pentecostal 
gift. It was not merely what all saints had enjoyed from the beginning, but a 
double portion and more, transcending that : but I cannot dwell upon it now. 
Thus does the new life attain its fullness for us. 

From resurrection to ascension is the natural progress of thought, and we 
must remember that we do not lose Him from the place of representative which 
he took for us upon the cross, when we follow Him back to his eternal home in 
glory. He is gone "to appear in the presence of God for us." (Heb. ix. 24.) 
Thus the two names bound together next can present no difficulty. We have, 
first — 

"Jarmuth," "elevation," "exaltation," a name with which we are already 
lamiliar, if not in this application ; and then — 

"Adullam," the most literal rendering of which word would seem undoubt- 
edly to be " in very deed a witness." How simply applicable to Him who has 
gone in for men as Man, the testimony to the value of His completed work aud 
of the acceptance therefore of His people ! Our relation to God is characterized 
for us on the one side by the new life we have in Him, and on the other by the 
heavens opened and furnished by His presence there. 

15. 37-39. JOSHUA. 103 

Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdal-Gad, and Dilean, 
and Mizpeh, and Joktheel, ^Lachish, and Bozkath, and 

p 2 Kings 
18. 14-18. 

The fourth group of five nataes is less plain as to the detail, though its general 
significance is surely warning, — so far as we have gone yet, the one exception of 
this kind we have found among the themes with which Judah's cities engage us. 
We have here — 

First, " Socoh : " either " his hedge," or, as in Lam. ii. 6, '" his tabernacle," 
and then — 

"Azekah," "fencing round," or, as more generally taken, "breach," two 
nearly opposite thoughts. But ' ' his hedge ' ' with ' ' fencing round, ' ' would seem 
mere tautology, and "his tabernacle," if it be applied to God, would seem to 
make the idea of being broken through less probable. Would not the thought 
be that God having thus, as all that goes before has shown, drawn near to men, 
He must " fence round " this grace from rash intrusion ? To treat grace as grace 
is none. This glorifies God, and is His way of blessing for us. All may come 
freely who will come through Christ ; but how many would draw near Cain- 
like without the shelter of the blood ? Thus He Himself reminds us of the 
"strait gate "and the "wide," the "narrow way" and the "broad," and of 
these the next two names surely strikingly bear testimony ; — 

" Shaaraim, " " two gates, ' ' and — 

' ' Adithaim, " " two ways ! ' ' 

The fifth name, " Gederah," with its apparent variation merely, " Gederoth- 
aim," is again more difiicult. The word means a wall or enclosure, generally, 
at least, of stone, such as was used often at night for the protection of sheep, — 
"a sheep-fold," or "two sheep-folds." The numerical place seems to speak 
of the end of the way and the dual form of the final word to carry the previous 
alternatives to their conclusion. The word is not always an enclosure for sheep, 
and there may be intentional ambiguity, significant as that. This seems not 
difficult to understand. But why the first "Gederah?" May it be that di- 
vine love would have but one enclosure — one happy fold at last, but that man's 
way necessitates two, how different ? This is only a suggestion ; but it is at least 
a sweet while solemn thought with which to end the series. God is calling men, 
whose old relationship to Him sin has broken, to new relationship with Him in a 
higher way. Man's will is, alas, a terrible factor in the final result ; and, " Ye 
will not come unto me that ye might have life," are words that apply yet even 
to multitudes that are professedly Christ's own people. 

(**) The second series of the cities of the Shephelah, sixteen in number, 
seems to represent the service implied in relationship, as the first series has shown 
us the ground of it. All relationship, of necessity, supposes duty as flowing from 
it, and that on both sides, and as various as are the aspects of the relationship 
itself It is only as we come to look at the names that we shall be able to see 
just what the Lord has chosen to bring before us here. 

There are three groups, of six, seven, and three names respectively : — 

Zenan, Hadasha, Migdal-gad, Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel; 

Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, Cabbon, Lahmam, Kithlish, Gederoth ; 

Beth-dagon, Naamah, Makkedah. 

The place of each number in this is again definitely determined for us, and 
we have no choice at all about it. For this we may be very thankful, for even 
the significance of the names is at times quite difficult to make out, and then 
they are in their nature symbolical — true hieroglyphs, and we need all the help 
that can be obtained to read them. 

"Zenan," the first of the first group, signifies " sheep," or " a place of sheep." 
We are in a part of the land, and among names which remind us of these, as 
"Gederah" and " Gederothaim " in the first series, and another "Gederoth" 
further on in the present one. Standing where it does — ^at the head of the series, 

104 JOSHUA. 15. 39-41. 

Eglon, and Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Chithlisb, and j^ jg js 
Gederoth, Beth-dagon, and Naamah, and ^'Makkedah: 

it would naturally suggest to us a relation of His people to their Lord, which 
He Himself emphasized strongly. As the "good Shepherd," He laid down His 
life for the sheep: as the "great Shepherd" "brought again from the dead, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant," He guides them now. On their 
part the terms suppose docility and obedience, "My sheep hear my voice, and 
I know them, and they follow me." We have next — 

' ' Hadashah, " " new, ' ' where the only difficulty can be as to what it refers to. 
" Other sheep I have," says the Lord again, "which are not of this" Jewish 
' ' fold : them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice ; and there shall 
be one flock," — not "fold," — "one Shepherd." One flock of Jews and Gentiles 
together, outside the legal fold, kept together by the one authoritative voice they 
know and follow. To this the word may well apply. 

" Migdal-gad, " "tower of the troop," may also have reference to a flock. 
Such towers were built for its safety ; for better watching against beasts or 
men ; aud with Micah the "tower of the flock " is "the stronghold of the daugh- 
ter of Zion. " (chap. iv. 8.) The exalted Lord, with all power His in heaven 
and in earth, thus cares for His people, and none can pluck them out of His 

Thus they are provided for. But the fourth name suggests quite diflerent 
thoughts, and yet in complete accordance with the number. " Dilean " signifles, 
as I believe, "weak with humbling," and brings back to our thoughts once 
more the conditioa in itself so healthful for us, yet to which we have often to be 
brought by such painful discipline. The sheep is naturally weak and defense- 
less enough, aud no further image should be needed to convey such a thought to 
us ; but we know well that we have to be reminded of and made to realize this 
condition, that we may be content to remain in the place of dependence, and 
follow without straying from the Great Shepherd. 

Of this, I think, the next word, "Mizpeh," the " watch-tower," is intended 
to remind us. It comes in the flfth place, under the number of responsibility, 
and is surely not meant to repeat the thought of Migdal. The words of the 
Psalmist rather give the meaning, " lu the morning will I direct my prayer unto 
Thee, and will loatch." (Ps. v. 3 ;) or, those of the Prophet, "I will stand upon 
my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say 
unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved." (Hab. ii. 1.) 

This watching is indeed the product of " Migdal " and "Dilean " together, as 
we may say, — of the apprehension of our weakness and of His wise and holy 
guardianship and guidance: "Behold, as the eyes of a servant look unto the 
hand of his master, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, 
so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God." And how, indeed, apart from this 
attitude, can we be guided by His eye ? 

But it is to this we must be brought, and then will "Joktheel." "subdued by 
God," celebrate His love-triumph over us. Note that this is the sixth place we 
have reached, the number of victory, but the victory is His if the fruit is oura. 
Moulded to His will, brought into the attitude of habitual dependence upon 
Himself, what more can be wanting to us? And He, too, sees in us the fruit of 
the travail of His soul and is satisfied. 

Thus, what we have in this first group is the Shepherd's service to the sheep ; 
it is the fruit of this relationship in which He is to us. The second group has 
seven names, and begins on our side with — 

" Lachish," which we have already twice over looked at, as signifying, "Walk 
as men ; " not here of course in the carnal sense in which the apostle reproves it 
in the Corinthians, but as we have seen to be the meaning when the city becomes 
Israelite, " Walk as the man ; " or, " Walk in Christ." The Second Man alone 
is man after God's own thought, and we are to "walk as He walked,"— a 

15. 41-43. JOSHUA. 105 

r 2 Kl. 8. 22, 
2 Kl. 19. 8. 
2 Kl. 23.31. 

sixteen cities and their villages. 

'Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan, and Jiphtah, and 

heavenly man in the world. This alone is Christian obedience, too sadly for- 
gotten, bnt of which the numerical place bears witness. The next name gives 
the character of this walk, as — 

" Bozkath," "in being poured out." " Yea," says the apostle, "and if I be 
poured out upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you 
aU." (Phil. ii. 17, marg.) "Poured out" is the word, — as a drink-oflfering ; and 
the drink-oflfering meant joy ; but it was, of course, as all oflferings, an offering 
to God, not man. And this was the principle of Christ's life, " who for the joy 
that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame." (Heb. xii. 2.) 

The "Eglon" which we have before met comes in beautifully here. It is the 
wheel of man's destiny, but, as the third place shows, in the chariot of Deity; 
and as such it has nothing but good for the man of God. It is ordained for the 
abasement of man's pride, and writes vanity upon the world ; but only as unbe- 
lief and pride refuse the judgment upon man as fallen, and shut themselves out 
from the revelation of the grace beyond. Faith, humbling itself before God, 
accepts the lesson, and finds God in it. The law of sacrifice consents to the los- 
ing life in this world as the way of keeping it to life eternal. And he to whom 
Christ's footsteps mark the road of his choice, realizes the very darkness and 
difficulty and need of the way as being like the wilderness, for Israel only the 
occasion for divine glory to manifest itself, and where faith too, as precious to 
God, is trained and exercised. The wheel of (Jod's providence moves forward to 
the accomplishment of holy purposes, breaking up the stubble and sifting the 
wheat from the chaff": where all seems most conlusion, God's granary garners 
most the precious grain. 

And this may be the connection with the following word, " Cabbou," which 
seems to be "as one that understands," — that, Christ's spirit received into the 
the life, and the enigma of the world solved, the discipline of its government 
accepted, men become really those that understand. Faith is not credulity, 
though to the ' ' fool " it may appear so : it is the opening of all secrets, and the 
fitting practically for every position and function of life. And thus "wisdom" 
in Scripture has always a distinct and inseparable relation to godliness ; there is 
not even the beginning of it without "the fear of the Lord." 

Moreover, as it owns God, so it regards man: fellowship with Him who is Love 
must be love too: it is "in" godliness that is developed brotherly love, and 
"in" brotherly love, a love still wider. So Peter's words (2 Pet. i. 7.) really 
intimate. If Christ has found the door of the heart, He keeps it open, as His 
own is. And thus we find in the two names succeeding the fruit of a life de- 
voted to God for others — 

"Lahmam," ''their bread ;" the ministry, we may conclude, to the inward 
need of man , bread being the type of all other subsistence ; while — 

' 'Chithlish, " "the beating down of the lion, ' ' speaks of other need, in deliverance 
from him who as a roaring lion goeth about, seeking whom he may devour ; — 

"Gederoth," again, closing the record here with a vision of securely folded 
sheep, preserved and rescued. 

Thus the service of relationship is illustrated from the merely human side. 
Three names now seal the blessedness of all this : — 

" Beth-dagon, " "house of the fish," the last in Hebrew named from its 
fecundity. This in the fish is marvelous: and who shall tell the fruitfuluess 
of a life given to God in accordance with His will ? The numerical place would 
emphasize it, I think, as obedience, — no supererogatory work ; nor left for the 
Christian either to carry out or not as he pleases. God has various places for 
us to fill indeed, and many members in the one body of Christ ; but He has no 
different grades of that one life of which Christ is the measure always. What 
is short of this is only sin. 

106 JOSHUA. 15. 43, 44. 

Ashnah, and Nezib, and 'Keilah, and 'Achzib, and 
Mareshah : nine cities and their villages. 

s 1 Sam. 23. 

I Mlc. 1. 14, 


As the name recalls, Dagon was the Canaanite and Philistine fish-god; and to 
this day such as these represent -worship flsh, that is, a fruitful life : but 
Beth-dagou in Israelite hands was, of course, no more idolatrous. The light 
must "shiue before men: " Christ must be testified to, that is, as the One who 
is the only true light ; and thus, says the Lord, " they shall see your good 
works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven." (Mat. v. 16.) 

" Naamah," the second name, tells that this life is " pleasant." Such it is, as 
has been often testified even by those that have persecuted to the death those 
that lived it. Stephen's face, to all that looked upon it, shone like that of an 
angel. Yet they battered the glory out with stones. 

Lastly, "Makkedah," "bowing the head, " speaks of that subjection to God 
which glorifies Him, as making Him God indeed, and testifying how our hearts 
have been recalled to Him. ThLs completes the blessedness. 

(***) The third series of the Shephelah, emphavsizes its number in the nine 
cities it contains, which are, according to what has proved hitherto the constant 
rule, a three by three. We should not be surprised to find, what is the fact, 
that they lead us into the sanctuary, and give us in one aspect of it, our relation 
to the Lord there. The first three speak plainly of His work as typified in what 
the apostle calls ' ' the first tabernacle, ' ' the outer holy place ; the second three 
of His entrance into the second, the inner one ; the third, of our own realiz- 
ation of blessing in it. The lesson is from Hebrews throughout. 

f 1. Libnah, f 1. Jiphtah, f 1. Keilah, 

1. -^ 2. Ether, 2. \ ^. Ashnah, 3. \ 2. Achzib, 

( 3. Ashan ; ( S. Nezib ; ( S. Mareshah. 

The place and number of every name are thus rigorously determined for us as 

Libnah we are again familiar with : it means "white," and represents "puri- 
ty." Moreover, in our former glance at it, we considered it to repre.sent espe- 
cially separation from evil. We shall now see how perfectly all this unites in the 
present application. 

The high priest in Israel went into the sanctuary, not in the garments of 
glory and beauty, in which he appeared before the people, but in simple white 
lineu garments only. All depends, as to him who draws near to God, upon the 
absolute i^urity of what we have seen the garments to represent, the personal 
ways — the habits. The unblemished victim spoke in another way of the same 
truth. Christ on the cross when heard by "Him who was able to save Him" 
— not "from," but — "'out of death, was heard for His piety" (Heb. v. 7. mar- 
gin.) He was "raised from the dead by the glory of the Father," (Rom. vi. 4,) 
God not suffering " His Holy One " — or rather " His Pious One," and thus in 
strict unity with Hebrews — " to see corruption." (Acts ii. 27.) The plain white 
garments of the high priest taught the same ol)vious but solemn truth. 

But Libnah gives us an additional thought, which Hebrews exactly interprets: 
"For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate 
from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." (chap. vii. 26.) As the high 
priest's intercession in Israel was upon the ground of sacrifice, and for a (ty- 
pically) redeemed people, so the Lord in heaven is for those of whom it is said, 
"By one offering. He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." (x. 14.) 
Of these He is now the Intercessor on high: " I pray for them," He says Himself; 
" I pray not for the world, but for those whom Thou hast given Me ; for they 
are thine " (Jno. xvii. 9.) While the atonement is for all, in this sense, that all 
men are welcome, and l)esonght to avail themselves of its full provision for 
them. His intercession in heaven is for His own, and Libnah presents the precise 
truth as to the High-priest in the Sanctuary. How absolutely perfect is the 
Word of God! 

15. 45, 46. JOSHUA. 107 

"Ekron and its dependencies and its villages. From 
Ekron and toward the sea, all that are by the side of 

u 1 Sam. 5. 

Ether follows Libnah, and is generally interpreted as "riches, abundance." 
There is a form in Scripture athereth, which means this : it occurs but once, 
while Athar in the simple form, occurs once as "thick" (Ezek. viii. 11) "a thick 
cloud of incense went up. ' ' The K. V. , with the Septuagint, Vulgate and Sy- 
riac, translates here "the odour of the cloud." Heugstenberg objects to this 
however, as "a meaning that rests on no ground whatever." He translates, 
"And the prayer of the cloud of incense went up," and adds, "The cloud of 
incense is called 'prayer,' because it was an embodied prayer." The same 
word is translated "suppliant" in Zeph. iii. 10 ; and the verbal root {Athar) is 
commonly used for ' ' intreat, pray. ' ' Wilson defines athar, ' ' to pray as a sup- 
pliant, to supplicate God, powerfully, abundantly, or successfully ; being gen- 
erally used in Niphal of intreaty that prevails with Gk)d." Surely this is what 
the word means in this connection, found as such in exactly the right place, and 
being exactly the right word to express the prevailing intercession of the Lord. 

Ashan, "smoke," reminds us of the "incense" which we find in Revel- 
ation added to the prayers of the saints, and which typifies the fragrance of 
Christ's own acceptability with which He makes them a sweet savor to God. 

Thus all here speaks of the sanctuary; and the incense-altar stood in the outer 
sanctuary, or what the apostle calls the first tabernacle. (Heb. ix. 2, 6, 8.) 
This remained through the whole legal dispensation separated by the vail from 
the holiest of all, in which was the mercy-seat and where the glory of God ap- 
peared. Only once a year, covered with the cloud of incense and to put the 
blood of propitiation before God, the high priest went in for a moment within 
the vail. The law which could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper could 
not therefore bring near to God: and this the intervening vail declared. 

In Christianity the true blood of atonement does perfect the conscience and 
brings nigh the worshiper ; the first tabernacle, as distinct from the second, is 
done away : and that is what we go on to in the second three names ; the firat 
of which is — 

Jiphtah, " he openeth! " The veil is rent by that which provides the precious 
blood for the mercy-seat. Atonement is accomplished, the work which He un- 
dertook is done ; the Son of God is gone up where He was before : which the 
single word — 

Ashnah, which we met among the cities of the Negeb, not the same city, but 
the same name with the same meaning, "return," declares as His own proi^er 
home. Therefore, in contrast with the high priest's merely momentary en- 
trance — 

Nezib, "station," comes to assure as that He has taken His place there, and 
abides where He has entered — the numerical place affirming that now we have 
the realization of what the Jewish ceremonial only shadowed. 

Here the second three end with the Lord's place taken in the heavens ; the 
third three now coming to give its the realization of what has been done for us : — 

First, "Keilah," which from the Arabic is said to mean "castle" or "re- 
fuge." Thank God, this place in the innermost sanctuary is both for us. We 
are urged, as "having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 
by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the vail, and 
having an high-priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart 
in full assurance of faith" (Heb. x. 19-22.) Here, with such a welcome, we 
may well abide. What shaft of the enemy can reach us here ? 

We have also a witness of this place into which He is gone, and gone to ap- 
pear in the presence of God for us : — 

Achzib, is indeed generally considered to be the same as Chezib, and to mean 
" that which fails or deceives," as a winter torrent dried up by the heat of sum- 
mer. And Micah (i. 14) is quoted for this, that ' ' the houses of Achzib shall be 


108 JOSHUA. 15. 46, 47. 

Ashdod, and their villages. Ashdod, its dependencies 
and its villages ; Gaza, its dependencies and its villages, 

(achzab) a lie unto the Kings of Israel. ' ' Yet the true meaning, and in perfect 
harmony with the prophet also, is almost the exact opposite of this. Taken as 
two words joined together, ach zib would be "a flowing indeed," such as the 
Holy Ghost as living water is, such as the "houses of Achzib," a mockery of 
their name, were not. It comes also in the second place, not the third, with 
perfect propriety, because the Spirit of God is looked at, as already said, as a 
witness of Christ's ascension and glory: "Therefore, being by the right hand 
of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy 
Ghost, He hath shed forth that which ye now see and hear" (Acts ii. 33.) 

Thus a third word now closes the whole with the full conviction of what is 
implied for us as to the sanctuary into which Christ has entered — 

Mareshah, "possession." Let it remain for us a living word, no theory, no 
dream: here let us abide, in the consciousness of what grace has made our own. 

(****) From this to the Philistine cities of the plain! But the number 
gives us to know that we are descending here. Moreover the practical reality 
of sanctuary life has to be testified in the world ; and we may not shrink from 
it. Of coui-se, the Philistine cities as Judah's possession are no longer Philis- 
tine. Nor are they dwelt upon in much detail now. Indeed some commenta- 
tors reputed orthodox believe in some omissions here, or else, that these verses 
are but a fragmentary addition by a later hand. I think, however, arguing from 
what is the fact, that every detail falls into its place, and the whole seems to be 
really complete in spiritual significance, that we have no reason for any such 
supposition. It gives the practical result of what precedes it. 

There are five divisions here: — 

1. Ekron and her dependencies and her villages. 

2. From Ekron and toward the sea, all that are beside Ashdod and their vil- 

3. Ashdod and her dependencies and her villages. 

4. Gaza and her dependencies and her villages, unto the brook of Egypt. 

5. The great sea and its coast. 

All the names have already received their interpretation, and the numerical 
place of each division is clear ; so that we have narrow limits, as narrow as may 
well be, for the imagination. In fact, all this narrowing only simplifies our 
work, while it proportionately more confirms the result arrived at: a manifest 
mark of divine truth in it. 

1. Ekron then means "eradication." We looked at the truth conveyed when 
we were surveying the border of Judah, and need not at length repeat it here. 
The numerical place is simple: it may well show us what is implied in "integ- 
rity " with God, the uncompromising judgment of evil: not turning the blind 
eye to things that we would spare, but judging with God, by His Word, not our 
own opinions, all that He judges. This is indeed a first principle for a true life, 
and the order here may well be considered a divine one. 

3. To make out the second division, it is clear we must first of all look at the 
third. Ashdod, we have interpreted to be "the spoiler ;" and again it is not 
hard to see that the heavenly things revealed, if received in heart, rob the 
earthly of their glory. We cannot enter into the heavenly except as we leave 
behind the things of earth: " if ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things 
that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God ; set your mind 
on things above, not on things on the earth : for ye are dead ; and your life is 
hid with Christ in God" (Col. iii. 1-3.) 

Thus Ashdod, as an Israelite city, clearly has its place under the resurrection 

2. The second section is not so easy to interpret. It is simply characterized as 
places reaching from Ekron and the sea, alongside Ashdod. We may interpret it 
then as somewhat which takes its measurement from the "eradication " of evil 

15. 47, 48. JOSHUA. 109 

as far as the brook of Egypt, and the great sea, and its 

(c) And in the "mountainous country : — Shamir, and 

V Luke 1.39. 

and the paling of the world in the light of higher glory : and this, if we look 
at it in connection with the guidance of its numerical place, may well give us 
the thought of its being "growth" that is thus marked. Perhaps this is why 
we find no one city named also, because it is a thing so various in its manifesta- 
tions, and so relative to other things — growth in this respect or in that. But it 
is of such great importance that we need not wonder to find a place reserved for 
it in such a catalogue as this. Growth characterizes life: even to meet daily 
wear and tear, there must be fresh production and renewal. And the life which 
is eternal, never reaching here its mature development, must surely gi-aw. If 
any fresh knowledge be acquired, and it is by the truth that we are sanctified, 
must not this of itself necessitate it ? Thus there seems full ground for believ- 
ing that this is what is insisted on in this place, that a living soul must grow. 
While, if the lack of integrity and the sufferance of evil, with heart-occupation 
with the world, hinder this, then Ekron and the sea and Ashdod are of simple, 
easily read significance in connection with this. 

4. In the fourth place — not first, as in the former list of Philistine cities, and 
for many reasons, — under the number which speaks to us of "weakness " also, 
it is no more strange, but most appropriate, to find Gaza, " strength.'^ The con- 
nection and order are (as always) most important to observe. Such things can 
be little dwelt upon here, but those who study Scripture with practical intent 
cannot afford to pass over what is indicated in them. 

5. Lastly, the sea and the sea-board, with their well-known meaning, and un- 
der the number that speaks of "exercise," fall also into Judah's portion. 
"Those that go down to the sea in ships," and learn there the wonders of the 
Lord, must not be lacking among Judah's worshipers. 

Here the list of the Shephelah cities closes ; and we go on to the cities of the 
mountain region. Shall we find the truth mount also, as we proceed ? 

(c) The cities of the mountain we may well suppose, from their position alone, 
to lift us up nearer to heaven and to God. The third place in which they come 
would confirm this, and suggest that they speak of the manifestation and glory 
of Grod Himself, although not as if apart from the blessing of His people : the 
names engraven upon the high-priest's breast-plate would be alone enough to 
assure us that this could not be. " In the ages to come. He," will " show forth 
the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ 
Jesus." And this verse from Ephesians, the New Testament Joshua, we might 
expect to characterize in an especial way the section of the book which we have 
reached now. 

There are five series of these cities according to our common Bibles, to which 
Keil would add from the Septuagint a sixth. This question we must consider in 
its place. The first series here consists of eleven cities. No groups are marked 
for us in this eleven ; nor do we know as yet of any recognized Scripture way of 
dividing this, though no number so large as this would seem to be without it. 
We are left therefore to what the names in connection with the numbera them- 
selves may indicate ; and in this way there seems to be two groups of six and 
five respectively. The first seems to speak of God as manifested in the counsels 
of His grace, the second of the response of man to this manifestation. 

The fij-st group then consists of — 

"Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh, and Dannah, and Kirjath-sannah, which is 
Debir, and Anab." 

Shamir is a word which, in the book of Isaiah, is translated " briar ; " else- 
where, in three places "adamant" or "diamond." In either case the deriva- 
tion is from ahamar, to "preserve," and in the latter case, if not the former, 
implies "hardness" and thus "durability. " In this sense, and especially as 

no JOSHUA. 16. 48-50. 

Jattir, and Socoh, and Dannah, and Kirjath-sannah, 
that is Debir, and Anab, and ""Eshtemoh, and Anim, 

tv 1 Sam.80. 

standiug for a durable precious stone, it fills undeniably its place in this series. 
It would speak thus of the unchangeability of God's attributes, which His coun- 
sels proclaim to us, the first necessity for the conception of God at all. Without 
caprice or uncertainty in His own nature, so also nothing from without can 
thwart His will or introduce confusion into His perfect ways. He is the "Father 
of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning ; " and as such 
the first of these mountain cities represents Him. 

Jattir is an intensive form of the verb jaihar, to "exceed, go beyond, excel." 
"We must translate it, "He far excels ; " and this would suit exactly the numer- 
ical place in which we find it. God goes beyond all knowledge and all thought. 
" He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." And 
this also is necessary to our conception of God. He would not be that if we 
could compass Him in our thoughts. But that inscrutability which of necessity 
belongs to Him, while it aifords room for faith, is not and cannot be aught but 
His perfection. We do not say even any more that He dwells in darkness : He 
dwelleth in the light inaccessible. One whom no man has seen or can see ; not 
because there is obstruction to the sight, but because there is infinity before it. 
Hence alone come our difficulties ; and therefore the humbler we are the less we 
have. The Cross presents and removes them ; we see what darkness is, and it 
passes from us ; we are ' ' in the light, as God is in the light. ' ' 

The third name we are familiar with, and that it is in its place cannot be ques- 
tioned; it is Socoh, "His tabernacle." The word imphes that He has come 
forth out of His eternity into man's time, and become with him a traveler. It is 
literally "His booth," a light temporary structure, put up for the care of a gar- 
den or vineyard, suggesting thus the object of this amazing condescension, those 
"delights with the sons of men," of which Christ is at the same time the ex- 
pression and the justification. Hence in the fourth place here we have — 

Dannah, a word not elsewhere found in Hebrew, but from the Arabic would 
mean, "pressed down," a meaning perfectly suited to its numerical place, but 
strange at first sight in connection with the display of God. Yet our hearts un- 
derstand well the mystery of love which could constrain a divine being to take 
the creature place which this Dannah, found under this number four, the num- 
ber of the creature, indicates. 

Then we have in the fifth place, Kirjath-sannah, which we are told is Debir, 
evidently, from its position, the same Debir that we have already more than 
once met, and which was also called Kirjath-sepher. Kirjath-sannah, means 
"the city of instruction," and is thus allied in its significance to the former 
name; while Debir, the "oracle," and in this fifth place in which God and 
man meet together, repeats for us the a.s.surance that it is God Himself who 
has become our teacher. "Gorf ha.s spoken to us in [the] Son," says the apos- 
tle (Heb. i. 2 :) " the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He, 
hath told Him out." (Jno. i. 18, Greek.) 

Thus Socoh, Dannah, Debir, agree in their testimony, proclaiming the fullness 
of the grace that has \'lsited us ; and now in connection with these, and in the 
sixth place, a number that speaks of victory over sin, we have Anab, " He has 
bound together." This ought not to be difficult: it signifies the Mediator's 
work complete, the triumph of divine love achieved. This closes the series on 
the God ward side. 

The human response we find now in five cities more, — 

"And Eshtemoh, and Anim, and Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh." 

First, for there is absolutely no result as yet, where the spirit of it is not 
found, Eshtemoh, "obedience." 

Secondly, Anim, which interpreters take as a contracted form of Enim, 
"springs ;" but this suits neither the numerical place nor the connection. A 

15. 51-53. JOSHUA. Ill 

and Gosheu, and Holon, and Giloh : eleven cities and 
their villages. 
Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean, and Janum, and 

better rendering, and one which agrees with both of these, is that of ' ' respon- 
sive songs," the joy of man's heart echoing the joy of God's. 

Thirdly, we have Gosheu, ' ' drawing near. ' ' 

Fonrthly, Holon, which is by some rendered "sandy," from Jiol,"' sand." But 
the latter part of the word may well be a separate one, and the whole a com- 
pound, hol-lon, with the middle letters become oue. The meaning then 
would be "lodging for the night upon the sand," and this in beautiful appro- 
priateness to the wilderness-number, and to the connection, which the — 

Fifth Avord, Giloh, "removing," strikingly confirms. Drawn near to God, the 
heart becomes that of a stranger here, of one who tarries but the night in the 
wilderness, and for whom there is to be "removal" in the morning; the 
number is that in which man is seen with God, and the desire in departure is 
fulfilled! How the numbei-s ceitify and fill uj) the meaning at every point ! 

Thus the firet series of the cities of the mountains ends. The second has nine 
names which are once more a three by three. They lead us evidently beyond 
the present world and uncover the secrets of the state of the dead, who "sleep 
in Jesus." It is a wonderful picture of what was little known indeed in the 
Old Testament, but in the New Testament is clearly revealed. Yet not even the 
New Testament itself would seem to go further than what we find here in the 
heart of the Old! The names are — 

11. Arab, "j 1. Janum, 1 1. Huratah. 

^. Dumah, 2. [■ ^. Beth-tappuah, 3. [■ 2. Kirjath-arba or Hebron, 
3. Eshean; J S. Aphekah; J S. Zior. 

Of these three groups, the first connects man with the body, though giving 
Christian hope as to the l)ody itself ; the second unveils hades, and shows us 
where the unclothed spirit is found; the third reveals in connection with this its 
internal condition. 

The first word, Arab, means "a place of lying in wait." Generally used for 
the ambush of an enemy, the character of hostility is not necessarily in it. It is 
a place of hiding in expectancy ; and such is the grave for the redeemed of the 

The second word, Dumah, "silence," adds another character obvious enough. 
It, too, often implies expectancy, as where it is said, "It is good that a man 
should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord " (Lam. iii. 26, ) 
this word is used for ' ' quiet expectancy. ' ' 

The third word, Eshean, means "bed" or "couch ;" and here the sleep is 
plainly temporary. Put these three words together, and there can be no doubt 
of what is referred to. 

The second group carries us further : here the fii-st name — 

Janum, "he slumbereth," assures us that the sleep is only partial. It is the 
exact force of the word, though when applied to what is here before us, we must 
remember that this partial sleep is to be divided in this way, that as it is com- 
plete for the body, so it does not exist at all for the spirit or soul. Scripture never 
applies the tenn to these. Certainly for him who but dozes life still exists, and 
this may be the significance of the numerical place, especially when we connect 
it with the next word — 

Beth-tappuah, the meaning of which has been already dwelt upon ; it is the 
"house of the Breather," the term which we have seen to designate Christ as 
the last Adam, the communicator of life, and that a higher than natural. Thus 
the departed saint not merely exists: he lives the life which is eternal, and 
where Christ is, in His own dwelling place. And this is his — 

Aphekah, "fortress" or "strong place:" how safe from all possibility of 

112 JOSHUA. 15. 53, 54. 

Beth-tappuah, and Aphekah, and Humtah, and Kirjath- 
arba, that is Hebron and Zior: nine cities and their 

harm, with Christ, where He is : " absent from the body, present with the 

We go on now more deeply into the internal state,beginningwith — 

Humtah, the only word akin to which in the Bible seems to be hornet, a word 
once used (Lev. xi. 30) to indicate a " lizard," in the common version "a snail." 
The verb from which it is derived exists in the Chaldee, with the meaning, ' ' to 
bow down, prostrate," and this therefore we seem to be compelled to take aa the 
significance here — ' ' prostrate. " 

For the man departed, even to be with Christ, death, as that which deprives 
him of the companionship of the body, would seem to argue the end in the 
meanwhile of such activity as the body enables for. The separate state, as 
such, is necessarily an imperfect one. Resurrection alone can give the full 
lowers of manhood, of course for the first time in their absolute perfection. 
The word here seems as if it meant to admit the prostration of strength in this 
respect, while in full view of it, rendered only more emphatic by the acknowl- 
edgment, there is the maintenance of the condition as being one of communion, 
as in the next name, so familiar to us as it is, — 

Kirjath-arba, which is Hebron. And may not the introduction of the first 
name here, the Anakite name, be meant to remind us that, if death be the hum- 
bling of all human pride, that which is of God shall be more helped than hin- 
dered by it ? 

To be with Christ means nothing short of perfected communion, death smit- 
ing down for the Christian all foes that would keep us out of it. Yet, just 
because it is perfected, and because Christ Himself waits for His full joy yet, so 
the condition of the soul is still that which the last word here implies — 

Zior, again a compound word, and which literally means "the ship of the 
watcher," the saint waiting still for the signal to be given to go forth, by Him 
upon whom his eyes are, and whose presence he will not leave when he goes 
forth in the beauty of resurrection to enjoy the inheritance of the co-heii"S with 

The third group contains ten cities in four smaller divisions : — 

" Maon. 

" Carmel, and Ziph, and Jatab, and Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah. 


"Gibeah and Timnah." 

What now does this third group bring before us? We most naturally expect 
perhaps that after this view of death and the separate state we should go on to 
resurrection and the heavenly condition. It would be strange indeed if these 
were omitted, and their omission would seem to cast a shade of uncertainty over 
the rest. While that is true, and we shall assuredly find them in their place, 
yet that place is not here, as we shall soon see. The numbers themselves seem 
to be against it : ten cities, four divisions, and the arrangement, 1. 6. 1. 2. Still 
this would not be decisive : the numbers, like notes in music, cau play many 
tunes. But when we come to the meanings of the names, we have what is 
plainer. Such names as Ziph, "place of refining," Jezreel, "God sows," even 
Carmel, "God's vineyard," carry our minds away from heaven, and forbid the 
thouglit of a condition suited to it. Carmel suggests at once Israel as being re- 
fered to ; for Israel was of old God's vine, and though He has for the present 
given it up, a day comes in which He will "sing unto her, a vineyard of red 
wine : I the Lord do keep it ; I will water it every moment ; lest any hurt it, I 
will keep it night and day " (laa. xxvii. 2, 3.) When seen as a picture of Israel 
as restored to God, risen aa a nation from the dead according to the common fig- 

15. 55-57. JOSHUA. 113 

'Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Jutah, and Jezreel, 
and Jokdeam, and Zanoah, Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah : 
ten cities and their villages. 

X 1 Sam. 25. 
2, etc. 

ure in prophecy, all hecomes easy, and the difficulties make not a discord but a 

The first name stands here by itself, and indicates the character of what is be- 
fore us. It is MaoQ, " dwelling-place," which in this first place and with this 
emphasis, naturally speaks of God dwelling in the midst of His people, which 
when it shall be again a reality for Israel, will be the seal of their perpetual bless- 
ing. Then will be fulfilled the prophetic word, that "the Lord has chosen 
Zion; He has desired it for His habitation: this is my rest for ever ; here will I 
dwell, for I have desired it" (Ps. cxxxii. 13, 14.) No wonder if this stand by 
itself as Israel's special portion. It is the fore-taste of that which, in a wider 
and fuller meaning, is said of the new earth at last, " The tabernacle of God is 
with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God 
Himself shall be with them and be their God." (Rev. xxi. 3.) 

The next section shows in its six names, His triumph in their salvation. 
First, Carmel, from a word which means to "prune," implies what is ever the 
need of a vineyard, if it is to bear proper fruit. God's long labor of centuries 
cannot be at last in vain. Israel will yet answer to His work upon it, and "the 
excellency of Carmel" shall once more be spoken of and with a fuller em- 
phasis. But for this there is to be yet severer trial than they have known, and 
of which — 

Ziph, "place of refining," is the assurance to us. Out of this they come 
with — 

Jutah, "enlargement," their borders stretched out, and with corresponding 
spiritual increase. Thus blessed, the fruit of their previous scattering will be 
seen in them, as — 

Jezreel, "God will sow," affirms. "I will sow her to Me in the earth," He 
says in Hosea (chap. ii. 23)" "Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of 
the earth with fruit" (Isa. xxvii. 6.) Then we have their worship as they 
realize what God has wrought, in — 

Jokdeam, "the people are made to bow the head," and thus reach — 

Zauoah, "a provision of rest." Thus ends the second section. 

The third is again a single name — 

Kain, "acquisition." There is an article with it which makes it more em- 
phatic: "<Ae acquisition" so long delayed ; the fulfilment at last of so many 
centuries of deferred hope. No wonder if God mark it as something of special 
importance. How much for His glory and man's blessing are summed up in it ! 
"For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall 
the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" "God shall bless us," said 
one of old, "and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him." 

The fourth section has but two names : — 

Gibeah, "hill, height," and 

Timnah, "apportionment ;" for God's will is to put this light for Him, the 
testimony at once of His grace and holiness, upon a candlestick, and to exalt 
Israel, as the number indicates, upon the earth. God indeed has a special"hill" 
of which He has written, that "it shall come to pass in the last days, that the 
mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, 
and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isa. 
ii. 2.) 

Naturally, every way, we go on now from Israel's blessing to that of the na- 
tions, 3, fourth group of six cities — 

"Halhul, and Beth-zur, and Gedor, and Maarath, and Beth-anoth, and 

Another triumph of divine grace. We must perforce go over it rapidly, but 

114 JOSHUA. 15. 58, 59. 

Halhul, Beth-zTur, and Gedor, and Maarath, and Beth- 
anoth, and Eltekon : six cities and their villages. 

[Tekoah, and Ephrata, which is Bethlehem, and 

•would not be thought to make little of what sounds the note of God's evangel 
as to the world in the near future : — 

Halhul, "travail-pain," necessarily preceding it, as the ordinance has been 
since the fall. No child is born without a pang ; no spiritual birth takes place 
without a deeper pang ; how great then when it is the world's labor-pain, as 
here : what a convulsion when those judgments of God are on the earth, in 
which the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isa. xxvi. 9.) Man's 
day will end in terror and dismay ; the day of the Lord will be upon all the pride 
of his heart and the work of his hands, to bring him into the dust out of which 
His grace shall new-create him. In the time when the earth trembles to its 
foundations — 

Beth-zur, " the house of the rock," will be revealed to him, the firm shelter 
for faith which will not give way. Cbrist is of course this, and being found, 
Christ's arms are put about him, and we find in — 

Gedor again the stone " enclosure " for a flock to keep them from wild beasts ; 
and next — 

Maarath, "meadow" for pasture. Thus the symbolsof a shepherd's care come 
naturally up where Christ is in connection with men. But this is not enough : 
He must have hearts that answer to His heart, and thus now we find — 

Beth-auoth, the "house of responsive songs." This is the fifth name; the 
sixth is a genuine note of triumph — 

El-tekon, "God makes straight : " "I will make darkness light before them, 
and crooked things straight." (Isa. xlii. 16.) 

Thus righteousness reigns, and the course of the world is no longer under the 
power of him "who worketh in the children of disobedience." Christ reigns, 
and the whole earth rejoices. 

According to our common Bibles, the cities of the mountains end here, with the 
exception of two names only which stand together in a fifth division. These 
certainly do not furnish us with the heavenly things of which we are in search ; 
and yet, if not the third, the fifth should, oue would suppose, speak of them. 
Or, after all, can it be that we have not even a hint of these? 

Now it is just in this place that the Septuagiut introduces auother group of 
eleven cities to which there has been found nothing corresponding in the Hebrew 
copies. Certain critics, and some of these, as Keil, quite orthodox, contend for 
the genuineness of this insertion ; others refuse it. Is it possible that here may 
be that of which we are in search ? 

Those who refuse the testimony of the Septuagint, allege the many additions 
as well as omissions and arbitrary changes made by the Greek translators in this 
part : a thing which cannot be denied. Bunsen also objects that "The forms 
of many of these names are decidedly not Hebrew ; besides, except Tekoa and 
Bethlehem, not one of the cities is elsewhere mentioned in the Old Testament." 
To which Fay replies that "the first reason is an as.sertion without proof; and 
the second has no weight, because very many of the cities mentioned in this 
chapter are named nowhere else in the Old Testament." Our own ability to use 
them depends upon the practicability of finding them in Hebrew, while other 
names than those given by Bunsen have at least their pos-sible representatives 

Keil says : " This group lay to the north of the fourth, and reached as far as 
Jerusalem. It comprised a district in which even now there are at least fifteen 
places and ruins, so that we have not an arbitrary interpolation made by the 
LXX., as Jerome assumed, but rather a gap in the Hebrew text." A number of 
the names can be identified with those of places found in this part of Judea at 
the present time. 

15. 59. JOSHUA. 115 

Phagor, and Aitam, and Kulon, and Tatami, and So- 
rest, and Karem, and Gallim, and Baither, and Mano- 
cho : eleven cities and their villages.] 

Interpretation for lis however famishes the only conclusive test ; and this 
decisively confirms the addition. Spite of whatever difficulty there may be in 
transliterating the Greek names back to the Hebrevr, we are easily able to show 
that there is a gap filled by it, which would be felt indeed in the spiritual much 
more than the literal application. Coming under that fifth number in which we 
find "man with God" as the fundamental thought, we find just what we looked 
for vainly in the third place ; while the section which in the Hebrew stands fifth, 
and out of place as that, fills thus, as we hope to show, with perfect accuracy, 
the sixth and final place. We proceed therefore with assurance to the interpre- 

The eleven names seem to divide into two smaller groups of seven and four, 
and not as before into six and five. These giving essentially the Godward and 
manward sides of the eternal life with Him, ending with one sweet word which 
is the seal of it all, — that we "enter into Hk rest." Could anything be more 
perfect as a conclusion than just what is here expressed? But all in God's book 
is perfect : only our astonishing dullness, the fruit of indifference and indolence, 
and these springing out of unbelief, hinder our perception of it. When shall 
we awake ? 

With what does the series begin? With Tekoa, "the sound of the trumpet," 
— that which summons the dead in Christ from their graves, and the living to go 
forth to meet Him ! as suitable a beginning as the ending. Divine power 
accomplishes the call, and the next word we have is — 

Ephrata, " fertility," the wilderness exchanged for ever for the place of abun- 
dance, "which is Bethlehem," "the house of bread," the "Father's house," of 
which even far-off" prodigals bear witness that there is ' ' bread enough and to 
spare. ' ' Little need should there be to apply ' ' the sound of a trumpet ' ' and 
" the house of bread," as thus connected together ! Next we have — 

Phagor, (still found as Faghur between Hebron and Bethlehem, "the cessation 
of sojourning." Then — 

Aitam (the Etam of 2 Chron. xi. 6,) "the ravenous beast consumed." And 
then — 

Kulon, "the end of the night-lodging." These three, just in the style of 
Eev. xxi., picture for us in joyful negations the bliss that is begun. Then — 

Tatami, "underneath them Jab:" the everlasting arms still needed by, and 
ever supporting, creature weakness. While — 

Soresh, "the turning aside of fire," would indicate that the holiness of God, 
which must needs burn against the evil in us — and so it is written, " Our God 
is a consuming fire ' ' — has done its work in this respect, and exists for us no 
more after this manner. This is the seven complete ; and perfection and rest 
will then manifestly have come. The other numbers can be traced all through 
by one who desires to do so. 

Now comes the manward side. First, — 

Karera, "meetings : " the joy of mutual recognition not forgotten, the attach- 
ments begun on earth provided for, by Him who has already united us together 
for eternity, and who said of old to the sorrowing Martha, " Thy brother shall 
rise again." 

Then Galem (Gallim ?) reminding us of Gilgal, where the reproach of God's 
people of old was " rolled away." Now this shall be done completely; while — 

Baither, or Bether, reminds us no less of those "mountains of Bether" 
("separation, seclusion?") here amid the joy of heaven to let us know of that 
inner sanctuary of the heart which shall be "kept ever sacred to the joy of One 
Voice that speaks there, — no moie any babble of other sounds to keep it out. 

Then comes the final word, Manocho, perhaps the Manahath of Chronicles 

116 JOSHUA. 15. 60, 61. 

d (61, 62.) 



Kiijath-baal, that is Kirjath-jearim, and Rabbah 
two cities and their villages. 

(d) In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin, and Se- 

(1 Chrou. viii. 6), but yet with a termination which gives it all ita distinctive 
beauty in this connection, "the place of His rest." Words would but take 
away from the fullness of meaning here. 

Who will deny that the insertion of the Septuagint justifies itself, if spiritual 
significance is to count for anything? But a witness to it yet remains, that of 
the last two of the cities of the mountain, which, as already said, become now 
a sixth, instead of, as in the Hebrew, a fifth division. Six speaks of the full 
development of evil, yet as under the hand of Him who has power over it. 
And the names here are 

Kirjath-Baal, which is Kirjath-jearim, and Rabbah. 

One form of evil remains, as it would seem, for distinct notice now, and 
Kirjath-Baal, the city of Baal, brings it before us in the most vivid way. 
Idolatry, and where in the idol also the true God is not even pictured, is indeed 
the triumph of Satan over man, his deluded captive. But Satan is cast down ; 
Kirjath-Baal becomes in Israel's hands Kirjath-jearim, the "city of woods." 
We have met this when tracing Judah's northern boundary to the sea, and we 
have seen that it there conveys no good suggestion. It is the abode of pride 
and prodigality, that on the one hand which betrays us into Satan's hand, and 
that in which as prodigals in a far country we bring oui-selves into a want, out 
of which no power but one can ever rescue us. The change of Kirjath-Baal into 
Kirjath-jearim implies the judgment of it before God, its name declared with 
that which leads to it, and to which it leads. And this is God's sweetest triumph 
over it, when Satan's captives are thus set free by self-judgment, and judgment of 
what has ensnared them. Here we are, in fact, on the border of Dan. For the rest — 

Rabbah, "great," sufficiently explains it. The power of God must needs 
prevail ; the hand of God will cast down the enemy. This is not even formally 
said, nor needs to be. It is enough to know that God is God. What shall the 
wildest effort of men or devils accomplish against Him ? 

[d) Thus fittingly the cities of the mountain end. We have still six cities 
left, the cities of the wilderness, the number assuring us of another triumph on 
God's part ; which would not be complete, unless the wilderness could furnish^ 
with all else, its material of praise. After having seen, therefore, the end of all, 
we return now to see that not in vain were the steps that led to it. The sorrow 
and trial have been temporal, but the lessons are eternal. As we look back 
from the end we shall see how well suited all God's ways have been, and how 
completely He was master when we could discern little but man's wild will. 

Beth-arabah, the "house of the wilderness," begins the list. It speaks 
plainly of a Father's sufficiency and care, which the wilderness is the very place 
to learn. Cut off from all natural resources, the heavenly bread, the water 
from the rock, the daily guidance, were a constant testimony of this to the 
people of old ; and to educate them in it was a perfect argument for the jiath 
by which He led them. And these things are our types : the antitypes tran- 
scend them ; only faith is needed to behold that which is spiritual ; but the 
clear light of eternity will reveal it all. 

We have next Middin, "measurement," the apprehension of things in relation 
to a standard, the discernment of difference. Here, again, the world, as sin has 
made it, is where such knowledge is to be attained. Here is the great field of 
conflict between good and evil. Here sin is seen in its growth and in its effects. 
Here in the child of God it is brought face to face Avith that which is of God, 
and there is learnt the secret of power over it. Here Christ, the Light of the 
world, has brought very darkness into light. Hence "measurement" of every 
kind is po.ssible, and "by reason of use" the senses become "exercised to 
discern both good and evil." 

15. 61-16. 1. 



Joseph : 








practice as 


from the 

divine call. 

cacah, and Nibshan, and Ir-hammelach, and^'Engedi: 
six cities and their villages. 

(e) But as for the ' Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jeru- 
salem, the children of Judah could not dispossess them, 
and the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at 
Jerusalem to this day. 

(XVI., XVII.) 

4. 'And the lot came forth for the children of "Joseph 
from the Jordan at Jericho, at the waters of Jericho on 

y 1 Sa.23.29, 
« 2 Sam. 5.6. 

a Num. 26. 

Secacah leads us further. It means "overshadowing," and, under the number 
■which speaks of divine manifestation, naturally leads us to think of the cloud 
that overshadowed Israel in the wilderness, and was the token of the divine 
presence in their midst. Their need and His love had brought Him there to 
minister among them, which for us has been done in a transcendeutly blessed 
way. Only in one world has God become incarnate ; and over it the heavens 
opened and poured out their multitudes when Christ was born in flesh. To he 
in the wilderness of this world is to be where the Son of God has walked and 
suffered and died ; and to have consciousness of the need which He has met, 
and that He has met it for us, will give us songs the angels know not. Surely 
God has made the wilderness in this way to blossom for us, and made it good 
for us to have known its sorrows. 

These become intensified in Nibshan, if it mean, as Young says, "furnace," 
which may refer to the glow of the khamsin, the desert wind. Such seasons, 
with all their trial now, have their commission from God, and so their blessing, 
consuming, as with the three of old, only the bonds that have bound us, while 
the Son of God is with us in the fire. It is not adversity we have to fear, 
though we do fear it, and court what we have rather cause to fear. 

Fruit is again found in Ir-hammelach, "the city of salt," that diffusive power 
of holiness, the true aggressive spirit of Christianity, without which even 
gracious words fail to "minister grace to the hearers." (Eph. iv. 29.) Is it 
not that the world's furnace prepares this "salt " for use, or puts it into activity 
at least ? And that he who realizes most the one will be most apt to manifest 
the other? 

The last word here is Engedi, " the spring of the young goat,'^' where Saul 
afterwards "went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats." 
(1 Sam. xxiv. 2.) The word in the last case means "climbers;" gedi is the 
young of the same race ; and en the fountain which sustains them. "The high 
hills," says the Psalmist, "are a refuge for the wild goats" (Ps. civ. 18) ; and 
there the spring is found. The mountains nourish a hardy race, given to sur- 
mount difficulties, and the wilderness has water for them. Difficulties call for 
faith, and increase the faith they call for ; while God has special cheer for special 
need. The number here is again the number of victory. 

(e) Here the tale of Judah's cities is at last completed ; save one, which, on 
account of Judah's failure, is not added to the rest. Jerusalem, the chief city 
of all, is yet in Jebnsite hands ; and there Judah and the Jebusite dwell in 
strange fellowship together. It is the first indication of that which in the book 
of Judges soon becomes the token of universal decline. The "could not " here 
speaks of divine government, as the numerical division does ; and we shall have 
it dwelt upon when we come to Judges. Tlie seed of the future was here at the 

4. We now come to the inheritance of the double-tribe of Joseph, which we 
have already seen represents the practical spirit which springs from faith, and 
with this the numerical division is in precise accordance. It is divided again 
into four subsections, which can be only properly characterized after examination 
in detail. 

(i.) The southern boundary is first given us as that of the whole tribe. As 

c 2 Chrou. 
8. 5. 

d 1 Chrou. 


118 JOSHUA. 16. 1-4. 

the east, to the wilderness going up fi'om Jericho to the 
mount of ''Bethel. And it went from Bethel to Luz, 
and passed to the border of the Archite at Ataroth, and 
it went down westward to the border of the Japhletite, 
as far as the border of the 'lower Beth-horon, and as far 
as ''Gezer ; and it ended at the sea. And the children of 
Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance. 

this it may well represent to us practice from the divine side, or as obedience to 
the call of God. This the examination of it will, we think, confirm. The 
language suggests a further division into five parts, giving so many aspects of 
the practical life, in orderly relation to one another, as we may be sure. There 
is nothing haphazard in the Word of Grod. 

(a) The first stage is from Jordan to the mount of Bethel. The line starts on 
the east from Jordan, for all true Christian , that is heavenly lile for us begins 
where the waters of death have yielded to the ark of Jehovah's strength, and 
given us access to the laud which is our possession. Then it begins from Jericho 
also, where the world has received its judgment for faith, and from the 
'^waters of Jericho : " for the streams of divine blessing which are taken (as we 
have seen in Egypt) to nourish the spirit of independence in men away from 
God, are ours to use freely and without asceticism, yet as from Him and to His 
praise. Nevertheless, the way is then a "wilderness, which leads up from 
Jericho to the mount of Bethel, ' ' the house of God. The first stage even of our 
journey is sadly incomplete if it does not bring us there. With the lesson of 
this house we ought to be, from Jacob's history, already familiar. 

(6) The second stage is scarcely oue at all, and yet of vast importance. It is 
"from Bethel to Luz" only; and Luz is the old name of the city of Bethel 
itself But Jacob's pillar was outside the city at the first, and only after a while, 
probably by natural outgrowth, they seem to become identified. From the 
Israelite point of view it was Bethel that absorbed Luz ; and at the time of 
the apportionment the city and the place of the vision were still, it would 
seem, different. 

At any rate, for our purpose it is enough that Luz follows Bethel here. Luz 
means "separation ;" aud however much it may exist apart from Bethel (and 
then it will have only heathen significance), when it is connected with and 
follows it, then it has its right and necessary place. To be with God as sons 
and daughters in His house. He has told us, we must not "touch the unclean 
thing." (2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.) And defilement must be estimated, not by natural 
conscience or our own conception, but by His word. It is here, in the very face 
of His word, that Christians can go so far astray. 

(c) The third stage is that the boundary "passed over to the border of the 
Archite, to Ataroth." Archite is from araeh, "to advance, make progress," 
and the Archite is therefore a man of progress. What is before him is very 
clearly told in the point where the line touches his border, Ataroth, which means 
"crowns ;" and so the apostle says : "Now they do it to obtain a corruptible 
crown, but we an incorruptible." (1 Cor. ix. 25.) The lucidity of the text here 
makes it need little the interpreter. 

{d) In the fourth stage the line descends, aud under the number which tells, . 
if any, of contact with the world, we reach the border of the Japhletite, "one 
who causes to escape," and "as far as the border of the loiver Bethhoron " (" the 
house of wrath ") and "as far as Gezer," "isolation : " words that, for those who 
are sent into the world with the Gospel of the Master, do not seem as if they 
should need much more interpretation than the former ones. 

(e) Hence the border runs to the sea: for in this practical life there are 
exercises also, and the experiences of storm-tossed mariners, which make the 
haven more desired to which surely at last Jehovah briugeth them. The line 
ends here at the haven of the sea. 

16. 5-9. 



2. (w. 5-10.) 



a (V. 5.) 

6 (6-8.) 

c (8, 9.) 

^ (a) And the border of the children of Ephraim was 
according to their families : the border of their inherit- 
ance was toward the sunrise, *Ataroth-Addar, as far as 
the upper Beth-horon. 

(6) And the border went forth westward to -^Mich- 
methah on the north [side] ; and the border turned 
toward the [sun] rise to Taanath-shiloh, and passed by 
it toward sunrise to Janohah, and went down from 
Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarah, and touched Jeri- 
cho, and went out to Jordan. From "Tappuah the 
border went west to the brook *Kanah, and ended at 
the sea. 

(c) This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children 
of Ephraim according to their families, together with 

/ch. 17.7. 

g cb. 17. 18. 
h ch. 17. 19. 

(il.) This is the southern boundary of Joseph. "We are now called to look at 
Ephraim separately in the second sub-section, which should apparently in its 
numerical significance have to do with the name. Ephraim means literally 
^^ doubly fruitful," and may refer to his being the second son, through whom 
indeed Joseph attains the double portion of the birthright. Thus Ephraim in 
his name expresses the value of both Joseph's sons, and the double fruit would 
seem to be not only in what we commonly call that, but also in the Manasseh 
energy of character acquired which turns its back upon all that is "Ijehind," in 
its racer-like eagerness for goal and prize. 

(a) In the fifth verse we have the southern boundary of Ephraim given again, 
but in a fragmentary way, which has induced many criticisms and attempts at 
emendation. But we could hardly expect a mere repetition of what has just 
been given ; and in the light of the spiritual meaning all is explained easily, 
distinctive beauty being found in the very points which before were most in 
question. Thus we have " addar " appended to Ataroth of the former account, 
and Beth-horon the upjier given in place of the lower : a thing which to one 
commentator seems of small account, because the two were so near together! 
But this is to lose the perfection of the Word of God. The last change is of the 
most absolute importance for the spiritual significance which it ought not to 
need to be insisted on governs all. Geography may not need so much precision; 
but here assuredly is more than that, or I know not why we still take interest 
in it as Christians. 

In fact in these two places on Ephraim's border we have two governing 
principles of practical life. Ataroth-addar means " crowns of honor; " and note 
that it is stated to be — not "eastward " merely, geographically, but — "toward 
the sunrise, ' ' spiritually. Beth-horon the upper is west from it, as we already 
know, — seaward, — and suggests rightly the exercises and experiences connected 
with the sea. Beth-horon is the "house of wrath; " but notice the importance, 
then, of distinguishing between the lower and the upper. Wrath Mow is the 
misery of hell, utter and irremediable ; wrath above, speaks indeed of sin as the 
evil thing which God hates, and must hate, because He is holy : but which 
is not wrath against the person, but may be, as chastening, the most tender 
and paternal love toward him. 

Hence Ataroth-addar and Beth-horon the upper are opposite thoughts, yet 
governing as a double star the coui-se of the saint, — divine approbation or 
divine displeasure, — though divine love is for the redeemed in both. Beth-horon 
the nether, the threat of hell, would be for these quite unsuitable, and rob the 
salvation of Christ of its character as eternal, and our souls of all the peace 
which it now assures to them. 

{b) We come now to Ephraim's northern border, which divides into two 
parts, in which it is traced in opposite directions, — two views in some sense 
opposite, therefore, though not in contradiction. The one gives, it would seem, 


d (V. 10.) 

in the land. 

a(vv. 1-6.) 
The heirs. 


16. 9-17. 1. 

the cities that were set apart for the children of 
Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the chil- 
dren of Manasseh, all the cities and their villages. 

(d) But thej did not dispossess the Canaanites that 
dwelt at 'Gezer; and the Canaanites have dwelt in the 
midst of Ephraim to this day, and became tributary 

"(«) And the lot came to the tribe of Manasseh; and 

iJud. 1. 29. 
1 Kings 9. 
16, 21. 

i Num. 26. 

individual items of the practical life, looked at from its human side from cou- 
veision, facing sunrise, that is, in view of accountability at the coming of the 
Lord. The other, brief indeed, and the more striking for its brevity, gives us, 
as exercised by these things (looking toward the sea) the helping principle which 
carries securely through. 

In the first case the line begins facing wesitvard — merely the sea ; in trouble 
and exercise of heart, we find ourselves at Michmethah, the "corruption of 
the dead;" then, as the line turns sharply round toward sunrise, we have the 
.striking image of con version ; and in Taauath-Shiloh reached "access to Him 
who gives peace" to the soul. Thence we come to Jauohah, "rest," still turning 
more toward the coming day. 

And now the road descends : the path in which power and fruitfulness are to 
be shown is one that leads downward, as our Lord's did. But this is a fourth 
step, warning us by the number that trial will be found ujwn it : remembering 
which we may rightly interpret the Ataroth, — very different from the former 
one, to which we now come, — "crowns," before the end is reached, and which 
can Ije nothing but temptation to be put away from us; and then we find 
Naai-ah, "tossing"; we must needs "touch" Jericho, the world, and have to do 
in some way with Jordan also, death ; and here the list closes on this side. 

In the opposite direction we take it up again, to find fii-st a name that haa 
twice truly fulfilled itself to us where we have found it — Tappnah, the 
"Breather." Here is, indeed, a precious and inspiriting thought. Christ, the 
last Adam, has breathed into us the })reath of a new, eternal life. We belong to 
a new creation : ' ' old things are passed away. ' ' And we who thus live are no 
more to live unto ourselves, but unto Him who died for us and rose again." 

This is, in fact, the brook Kanah. Kauah means "He has purchased"; and 
is the thought needed to supplement even Tappuah. Yes, He has purchased us ! 
Let us make it strictly individual, and say. He has purchased me; and may it be 
to us the inspiration that it was to the apostle: "the life which I live in the flesh 
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." 

But Kauah is a "brook"! Yes, for if this be in my heart, the Spirit of God 
delighting to glorify Christ, becomes a full flow of living water in my .soul, which 
allows no want. The rest of the line is now nothing but the watercourse itself, 
until the end is reached. Ble.s.sed be God ! How sweetly and powerfully, even 
though thej' rebuke us, do these ' ' mere names ' ' speak to a Christian soul ! 

(c) It is noted further that Ijesides the cities inclosed within these boundary 
lines, there were certain others out of Manasseh's tenitoiy that were granted to 
Ephraim. This will come before us where .shortly the names are given. 

(d) But Ephraim does not escape the common fiiilure ; and Gezer is noted as 
a place wliere the Canaanites were suffered to remain, though becoming servants. 
Sins are but too often spared as serviceable; and among Ephraimites as much 
as any. And because a gracious God still blesses, we think He cares but little. 
Yet a day of reckoning comes at last. 

(iii) We have now Mana.sseh's iwrtion in the land: that across Jordan has 
been already given. He is here in some sense realizing that for which he 
"forgets" elsewhere. The number of the section may intimate this. 

{a) The heirs are numbered first, and this is the case with no other of the 
tribes. Is it that the personal state is more before us, — the man himself as dis- 
tinguished from his inheritance? The family of Machir have their inheritance 

17. 1-7. 



6 (7-13.) 


border : 



he was the first-born of Joseph. As for Machir the 
first-born of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he 
was a man of war, he had * Gilead and Bashan. There 
was also [a portion] for the rest of the children of Ma- 
nasseh according to their families : for the children of 
Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the 
children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and 
for the children of Hepher, and for the children of 
Shemida: these are the children of Manasseh the son 
of Joseph that were males, according to their families. 
And 'Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, 
the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, 
but daughters ; and these were the names of his daugh- 
ters : Mahlah and Noah, Hoglah Milcah, and Tirzah. 
And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and be- 
fore Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, 
saying, Jehovah commanded Moses to give us an inher- 
itance among our brethren. And he gave them, ac- 
cording to the commandment of Jehovah, an inheritance 
among their father's brethren. And there fell ten por- 
tions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, 
which are beyond Jordan : for the daughters of Manas- 
seh had an inheritance among his sons; and the land of 
Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh. 

(6) And the border of Manasseh was from Asher to 
Michmethah, which is opposite to Shechem ; and the 

k Deut. 3. 

I Num. 27. 

already the other side of Jordau : six other, all spring originally from Machir, 
but are reckoned as Gileadites instead of Machirites. (See Num. xxvi.) Thus 
in different ways Machir and Gilead cover the whole territory of Manasseh. It is 
Machir the family that seems to be the " first-bom of Manasseh," as the individ- 
ual Machir is the father of the whole; and Keil takes " father of Gilead " here as 
equivalent to ruler of the land of Gilead. This interlacing of names must have 
its reason, aud should help us to see that names count for something throughout 
the history. Even the women of Manasseh show the courage of faith, and 
gain an inheritance with their brethren. Their story is repeated here, to their 
praise. We do well to covet the portion God has given us. There is abundance 
for all, aud to enjoy it to the full will only enrich and not impoverish others. 
Manasseh gains thus ten portions : for the single portion of Zelophehad swells 
into five through the inheritance of his daughtei-s. ' ' Covet earnestly the best gifts. ' ' 

{b) We have now Mauasseh's borders, only on one side really defined, and 
that the south, where Ephraim's line has already been traced. Yet this is 
repeated with variations from the former account, not surely a mere supplement 
on account of imperfection in the first, but something very different from this, 
and proving how little geography is in question. On the north there is no line 
given at all, simply the statement that it touched Asher on the north, and 
Issachar on the east, and that Manasseh had cities in both, which looks as if the 
undetermined line were left for progress, — of which Manasseh is surely the 
expression. On the south he too yields to Ephraim, expansion being the rule 
for the people of God. Had they been only faithful, their borders on all sides 
would have been similarly pushed out. God desired for them growth : they 
chose, alas, contraction. 

The southern border is traced from east to west, not the whole of it, and with 
some addition in the part given. The starting-point is from Asher, — not the 
tribe, of course, but a place supposed to be still known, with the same meaning, 



17. 7-15. 

m cb. 16. 0. 

4. (14-18.) 

n 1 Chron. 

o 1 Sam. 31. 


5 ctr, cb.l.S. 

border went on the right to the inhabitants of En- 
tappuah. Manasseh had the land of Tappuah, but 
Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the 
children of Ephraim. And the border descended to the 
brook Kanah, south of the brook : ""the cities here be- 
longed to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh. And 
the border of Manasseh was on the north side of the 
brook, and ended at the sea: southward it belonged to 
Ephraim, and northward to Manasseh; and the sea was 
his border. 

And they touched Asher on the north, and Issachar 
toward the [sun] rise. And "Manasseh had in Issachar 
and in Asher " Beth-shean and her dependencies, and 
Ibleam and her dependencies, and the inhabitants of 
Dor and her dependencies, and the inhabitants of 
^Endor and her dependencies, and the inhabitants of 
Taanach and her dependencies, and the inhabitants of 
Megiddo and her dependencies, — the three hilly regions. 
But the children of Manasseh « could not dispossess [the 
inhabitants of] these cities, but the Cauaanites would 
dwell in the land. And it came to pass, when the chil- 
dren of Israel were strong, that they put the Canaan- 
ites under tribute, and did not entirely dispossess them. 

* And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, say- 
ing. Why hast thou given me one lot and one portion 
for an inheritance, seeing I am a ''numerous people, 
forasmuch as Jehovah hath blessed me hitherto ? 

And Joshua said unto them. If thou art a numerous 
people, get thee up to the forest, and cut down for thy- 
self there in the land of the Perizzite and the Rephaim, 
since the hill-country of Ephraim is too strait for thee. 

"happy," man's original condition. Thence it passes to Michmethah, "the 
corruption of the dead," which is now marked as opposite to Shecheni, 
"shoulder," already familiar to us as the type of obedience, the bearing of the 
yoke. So man, not ignorantly, but in full view of duty, turns away from God. 

But there is a change : the border passes south, literally "to the right hand," 
the place of exaltation and honor, but in dependence, and so comes to the 
inhabitants of En-tappuah, a word we well know as significant of the Breather 
of new life, a new creation, and with a prefix "En," which means "spring," 
the living water that waters the new creation-life. Here we are stopped to 
have it explained that the land only belonged to Manasseh ; Tappuah, itself 
upon the boundary-line, belonged to Epliraim : and so Paul, in New Testament 
style, tells us that we are " Cheated in Christ Jeans unto good works, which God 
hath before prepared, that we should walk in them." (Eph. ii. 10.) 

Next we have again the brook Kanah to the sea, south of which the cities 
are Ephraira's, and north of it Manasseh 's, although the boundary-line would 
have given it all to Manasseh. I do not know the meaning of this. 

The boundary-line north, as already said, is not traced, except that it touched 
Asher on the north, and Issachar toward the sunrise, and that Manasseh 
possessed cities in both tribes. Yet the extension seems to go beyond their 
strength, an evil which too often accompanies energy; and the Canaanites 
retain these cities still, though they liecome tributaries. The lesson further 
will be considered in the Iwok of Judges. 

(iv.) The expostulation of the brother tribes with Joshua is a pleading of 

r Jud.8. 1,2. 

17. 16-18. 1. 



and em- 
phasized in 




1. (xviii.l.) 

The place 

of the 


And the children of Joseph said, The hill-country is 
'not enough for us ; and all the Canaanites that dwell 
in the land of the valley have 'chariots of iron, both 
they that are in Beth-shean and her dependencies, and 
they that are in the valley of Jezreel. And Joshua 
spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to 
Manasseh, saying, Thou art a numerous people, and hast 
great vigor ; thou shalt not have one lot only, but the 
hill-country shall be thine ; for it is a " forest, and thou 
shalt cut it down, and it shall be thine to its extremi- 
ties : for thou shalt dispossess the Canaanites, though 
they have chariots of iron, and though they be strong. 


5. ' And the whole assembly of the children of Israel 
gathered together at "Shiloh, and set up the tent of 

s cf. cb.19.9. 

t Jud. 1. 19. 

u Ps. 74. 5. 

V ch. 19. 5. 
1 Sam. 1. 3. 
Ps. 78. 60. 

weakness such as can go with high pretensions, and that is but shame. 
Certainly they have no slight opinion of themselves ; yet when it comes to 
meeting the enemy they are willing to take shelter under the most humiliating 
confession. It is "when I am weak, then am I strong," so that the true sense 
of weakness Avould have only given them encouragement by casting them upon 
God. Let us be well assured, the plea of weakness will never be used in this 
way by those who know rightly what their weakness is. They should have 
said, We are unbelieving, we dare not trust God : we are slothful, and do not 
want the trouble of clearing the mountain ; but then they could not have faced 
Jehovah with this ! How good a thing it would be to look honestly at all our 
excuses after this fashion ; although the effect would surely be that we should 
find that we had not an excuse that would stand the test ! Can we have an 
excuse for not taking possession of what God has made our own ? Not unless 
God fails : if He be for us, who can be against us ? Joshua, therefore, cannot 
admit the excuse. True it is, there is plenty of land for all, and their bound- 
aries, as we have often seen, are quite open for enlargement where there is real 
need ; but this caunot be until they are able to fill what has been already appor- 
tioned to them, and the enemies of God are dispossessed from their inheritance. 
The answer from their Captain is an exhortation with an encouragement. True, 
if we measure ourselves with difficulties, there is no hope at all : measure them 
in faith with God, and where have they disappeared ? 

But all this from the tribe of Joseph is mournful enough. Alas, when has 
there been a time in the history of God's people in which the seeds of departure 
were not manifest on every side ? And how could there be confidence at any 
time about them, except in the way the apostle found it, "I have confidence 
in you through the Lord"? 

5. We go on now to consider the portions of the remaining tribes, which are 
allotted them at one time in Shiloh, the tabernacle having been set up there. 
This surely is something not irrelevant, but in true relation to the apportion- 
ment itself, in which are illustrated God's governmental ways with a people 
in relation to Himself. And this, of course, implies that the tribes now 
receiving their apportionment illustrate also responsibility in a way in which 
previous ones do not. This is very evident as to Judah ; while as to Joseph no 
less is it apparent, I think, that it is not responsibility that is emphasized in 
what is given as to them. On the other hand, in that which follows it is,— 
Benjamin first of all here giving the abiding in Christ (and therefore He in us), 
which enables us for it. It is therefore the first and most important duty so to 
abide. This is the responsibility to which Christ in us answers as the necessary 
result. And while every true Christian must in the first sense of this abide, 
yet there are degrees of practical realization none the less. 

(i) The tent of meeting is established at Shiloh, "the place of rest" or 

9 ii. 



18. 1-8. 

2. (xviil. 

Division of 
the rest of 

the land. 

MIC/. Hob. 6, 

X Gen 13.17, 
c/. Eph. 1. 

y ch. 14. 4. 

meeting there ; and the laud was subdued before them. 
^ And there remained among the children of Israel 
seven tribes, to whom they had not yet apportioned 
their inheritance. And Joshua said unto the children of 
Israel, How long will ye be ""slack to go and possess 
the land which Jehovah the God of your fathers hath 
given you? Supply three men for each tribe, and I 
will send them, and they shall arise and 'go through 
the land, and describe it for the appointment of their 
inheritance ; and they shall come unto me. And they 
shall divide it into seven portions : Judah shall remain 
in his territory in the south, and the house of Joseph 
shall remain in their territory on the north. And ye 
shall describe the land in seven portions, and bring it 
hither to me, and I will cast lots for you here before 
Jehovah our God. For the " Levites have no portion 
among you, because Jehovah's priesthood is their inher- 
itance ; and 'Gad and Reuben and the half tribe of Ma- 2ch.13.8-12. 
nasseh have received their inheritance beyond Jor- 
dan toward the [sun] rise, which Moses the servant of 
Jehovah gave them. And the men arose and went; 
and Joshua charged them that went to describe the 
laud, saying, Go and walk through the land, and de- 
scribe it, and come again to me, and I will cast lots for 

"peace," — peace having been actually accomplished, and the land subdued 
before Israel. The tabernacle .stood here from Joshua's to Samuel's days, when 
it was forsaken, the ark going into captivity into the Philistines' land, and 
never returning to its tirst abode. Jerusalem, afterwards the throne ot the Lord, 
and now in its turn given up, is yet only abandoned for a time, and has the 
promise of being God's rest forever, but this very promise to the one assures us 
that the other is finally abandoned. 

The things that happened unto Israel happened unto them for types, and so 
surely in this case. Like the choice of Saul before David the true king, the 
choice of Shiloh had no doubt a probationary purpose, as all the history con- 
nected with it indicates. The situation of Jeru.salem between Benjamin and 
Judah will be realized 1)y one who considers what we have seen to be expressed 
by these tribes respectively to be the ideal seat of the lawgiver; Jerusalem itself 
also being the "foundation of peace," that is "righteousness;" which is the 
foundation of God's throne no less. Shiloh, on the contrary, was in Ephraim 
the fruitful, to which men naturally accord the sovereignty. Wlien the kingdom 
was divided Ephraim became, as we know, the seat of government, Icn tribes 
uniting to give this place to her — the ominous number of responsibility. Shiloh 
in Ephraim seems evidently, therefore, much as Saul before David, or the law 
before grace, a needed concession to man's natural thoughts, ordained for the 
trial of them. 

However, this scarcely appears as yet, save that the beginnings of failure are 
in fact seen all round, as we know, and at Shiloh itself the first word is of 
expostulation : " How long will ye be slack to go and possess the laud ? " Nor 
have we any outbreaking of song as when David afterwards brings the ark to 
Zion. These things speak to the attentive ear discouragingly: God for Himselt 
" chose 7wt the tribe of Ephraim " as the place of His throne. 

Yet there in the mean time the tent of meeting is, and thither the aasembly 
of Israel gathers. 

(ii) Seven tribes have yet to find their portions, and for this Jehovah bids 

18. 8-11. 



xlx. 61.) 
The In- 

Benjamin : 
"abide in 
Me, and I 
in you." 


you here before Jehovah in Shiloh. And the men went 
and "passed through the land, and described it by cities 
in seven portions in a ' book ; and they came to Joshua 
unto the camp at Shiloh. And Joshua cast lots for 
them in Shiloh before Jehovah ; and there Joshua di- 
vided the land unto the children of Israel according to 
their divisions. 

'(a) And the lot of the tribe of the children of "Ben- 
jamin came up according to their families ; and the bor- 
der of their lot went forth between the children of Ju- 

a ctr.i Sam. 
24. 5-8. 


c Num. 26. 

them appoint three men of each of these tribes to survey the land and divide 
it into seven parts, the lot being that which is to determine the portion of each 
according to these divisions. 

(iii) The lots come forth in an order which must, of course, have numerical 
significance : — 

(a) First, Benjamin, who receives, as we have already noticed, his inheritance 
between Judah and Ephraim on the east side, fllUng up exactly the interval, 
and uniting these to one another. 

Small as the tribe is, we see yet its importance in the care with which its 
boundaries are traced and its cities enumerated. Though its borders are 
necessarily those of Ephraim on the one hand and of Judah on the other, and 
have thus already been given, yet they are repeated now, with certain variations 
in the description, which are, of course, significant. Its cities, too, are given 
with care, and numbered like those of Judah, while those of Ephraim and 
Manasseh both are almost wholly passed over. These things do not merely 
happen to be, but are guided by the baud of God with careful consideration. 
We should only lose the edification designed for us, if we did not note all this 
carefully, so as to linger over that on which the Spirit of God lingers, emphasizing 
in due place, and giving all parts their balance and proportion. 

If Benjamin speak of Christ in us, the poioer for a fruitful life in the world, 
it is easy to see why this should receive more attention and emphasis than the 
details of the fruitful life itself (Ephraim); and thus it is that Benjamin fills 
the gap between Judah and Joseph, and comes at the head of the seven tribes 
here finding their place. "Little Benjamin" is, in this sense, "the ruler" 
(Ps. Ixviii. 27), having in it, in fact, Jerusalem, the city of the King, though 
Judah might supply the King himself "Christ in us" is, as has been already 
said, the objective in the subjective, the personal Christ in His image in the 
soul ; we must expect, therefore, that Benjamin will receive the greater con- 
sideration, and should expect ourselves to find the deepest instruction and 
edification in the details so carefully given here. 

We have first the boundaries, then the cities. The boundaries tell us in detail 
what Benjamin is ; for to limit and to define are the same things. They are 
given consecutively, the line being run completely from the northeastern extrem- 
ity ^t the Jordan, west to the south of Bethlehem, giving the north side ; south 
to Kirjath-Jearim, — the west side ; east from thence back to Jordan, — the south 
side ; Jordan itself being the east side. 

The northern is, of course, at the same time the boundary of Joseph ; it is 
given us also in the same way, from east to west, and thus presents itself for 
comparison throughout. For there is no mere repetition of what has been already 
given : the whole is restated, even although the parts may be the same. We 
have Benjamin now in view, not Ephraim ; while, as already said, comparison 
is necessarily suggested all the way through. 

The starting-point is Jordan, and this is given separately, to be considered by 
itself : "And their border on the north side was from Jordan." Ephraim, too, 
starts from the river of death, but does not linger there. The diflference all 
through seems to be that in Benjamin we have identification with Christ, in 

126 JOSHUA. 18. 11-13. 

dah and the children of Joseph, And their border on 

the north side was from Jordan, and the border went 

up to the side of ''Jericho on the north, and went up cich. I6.1-3. 

through the hill-country westward, and ended at the 

wilderness of Beth-aven. And the border passed from 

thence to Luz, to the side of Luz (the same is Bethel) 

southward ; and the border went down to Ataroth- 

Ephraim development of a life which is individual and distinct, althongh none 
the less springing from the life of Christ in us. Benjamin's border begins at 
Jordan, that is in identification with Him in death ; but it is as having life in 
Him that we are thus identified. Benjamin and Ephraim thus begin together, 
but on different sides of the same line : if we say ' ' life in Christ, ' ' Ephraim 
emphasizes the life^ Benjamin that it is in Christ. These things are never to be 
separated, but they are easily distinguished. 

But thus Ephraim does not, so to speak, tarry at Jordan ; Benjamin does. 
For power upon earth it is of the most essential consequence to realize that we 
begin with identification with Christ in death, which is thus my death, the end 
of me for faith, that Christ may live in me. If this first identification be not 
well realized, the dead self, after all, survives ; separate interests become neces- 
sarily distraction ; the eye not single blurs the image of Christ ; and instead of 
day there is but, at best, a twilight in the soul, which does not develop like the 
flush of the early morn, "from glory to glory : " for this you need, and only 
need, thank God, the Sun ! 

But now we go up : " And the border went up to the side of Jericho on the 
north " — the shadowed side, notice, of the world, but a world which thus (and 
only thus) becomes ours, Jericho coming, as we see, into the possession of Benja- 
min by this fact. But still we go up : there is no tarrying here — "and went up 
through the hill-coimtry westward," nearer heaven and facing the sea, "and 
ended at the wilderness of Beth-aven" — "house of vanity." Not a cheerful 
road, one might think, for the feet of a Benjamite ; but the cheer is elsewhere : 
identification with Christ is not that which makes the world bright or the path 
smooth. It makes the way a pilgrimage. 

But that is only one stage of the road. " And the Iwrder passed from thence 
to Luz, to the side of Luz (the same is Bethel) southward." Luz, as has been 
already said, means "separation" ; but Luz is here identified with Bethel, as 
in Joseph's border it is distinguished from it. It is the Luz aspect that is 
emphasized in connection with Benjamin, and no wonder : realized identifica- 
tion with Christ cannot fail in maintenance of true separateness, which in the 
Lord was fuller than the Baptist's, great as was he. But Luz is Bethel, as the 
apostle fully explains to the Corinthians (2 Cor. vi. 16-18). It is true Benjamite 
"separation" which makes us realize the blessedness of that home relationship 
with the Lord Almighty which is indeed what Bethel (the house of God) implies. 
And how much is implied in this ! Let the Benjamite who is reviewing his 
border not pass hastily on from Bethel, not make it merely, in fact, a station by 
the way. Nay, with him who knows it, it will be no transient thing, as in the 
Lord's blessed assurance : "K any man love Me, he will keep my words, and 
my Father will love him ; and We will come unto him, and make our abode idth 
him^^ (John xiv. 23). 

The fourth portion of the line brings us to the end of the north border : "and 
the border went down to Ataroth-addar, at the hill which is on the south of the 
lower Beth-horon." Both these names we know, but the utter and solemn con- 
trast is at first sight surprising. That the line goes down to "crowns of honor " 
need not surprise us : with the Lord it did, and thus the identification with 
Him is maintained. He "humbled Himself and l)ecame obedient unto death, 
even the death of the cross ; wherefore God hath highly exalted Him, and given 
Him a name that is above every name." "If we suffer, we shall also reign 
with Him." 

18. 13-16. 



addar, at the mount which is on the south of the lower 

And the border was drawn so that it turned on the 
west side southward, from the mount that is before 
Beth-horon on the south ; and it ended at Kirjath-baal 
(this is Kirjath-jearim), a city of the children of Judah. 
This was the west side. 

And the 'south side was from the end of Kirjath-jea- ech. 15.5-9. 
rim ; and the border went out westward, and went out 
to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah ; and the bor- 

So much is simple : but what is "the mount which is on the south of the 
lower Beth-horon " ? The mount unnamed must be simple elevation, and on the 
south side excludes Beth-horon from the portion of Benjamin. Does not the 
whole point simply and impressively to the day of the Lord in which the crown 
of glory and the judgment upon evil will be recompensed to saint and sinner? 

Here the northern boundary ends, and we turn south along the western one. 
This is very short, and has but one portion of the line within it : " And the bor- 
der was drawn so that it turned on the west side southward, from the mount 
that is before Beth-horon on the south, and it ended at Kirjath-baal (this is Kir- 
jath-jearim), a city of the children of Judah." This is on the border of Dan, 
and it speaks correspondingly of judgment from its start to its termination. 
We have already seen in Kirjath-jearim the exposure of Satan and his over- 
throw. In what perfect connection do we find it here both with the border of 
Dan and the city of wrath ! And we see in Benjamin's "mount " how identifi- 
cation with Christ and exaltation upon earth come at last into visible display 
together ; and this is shown us just where Ephraim's border gives place to 
Dan ! Who is the author of all these harmonies? Is any imagination equal to 
the feat of creating them ? Every name here is a standing proof of verbal inspi- 

We are now come to the southern boundary, which is at the same time Judah's, 
and trace it back to Jordan. It is as if, looking back from the end, (to which 
in the previous part we have arrived,) we retraced, as we shall retrace, the way 
by which we have come thither ; and in this Benjamin and Judah ("praise") 
will surely come together. Passing back over the way we have already traced, 
the landmarks will be the same substantially — almost exactly — all the way 
through, and the principal difference will be in the direction and in the stages 
of the journey, which will be numerically different, as indeed they are differ- 
ently divided also. 

The line is broken into five divisions, in the first of which we are bidden sim- 
ply to consider the point from which we start : ' ' And the south side was from 
the end of Kirjath-jearim." The number speaks of the righteousness and om- 
nipotence of God, which are clearly shown in the detection, baffling, and over- 
throw of Satan, not one dupe duped any longer by him, and God supreme in all 
His excellency as God, every cloud removed. How wondrous will be the time ! 
well may we be called to pause and consider it before we pass on — the time when 
the barrenness and misery of evil will be manifest to all, and the victory seen to 
be essentially one of goodness, not merely of power : thus only worthy of Him. 
This opens the meaning of the second portion : — 

"And the border went out westward, and went out to the spring of the waters 
of Nephtoah." This second portion, under the number which speaks of Christ 
and of salvation, takes us to the Cross, Nephtoah, " the opening " of the Rock, 
whence flow the living waters. The connection with Kirjath-jearim is evident. 
In the Cross power was absent from the side of good, was present with the evil 
only, yet the victory was complete, as shown in the streams flowing forth, and 
which have ever since flowed forth. At the first, though on the southern border, 
and to go east, we find, in fact, the border going west ! we are facing the sea of 

128 JOSHUA. 18. 16, 17. 

der went down to the end of the mountain that is before 
the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is in the valley 
of Rephaim on the north ; and it went down the valley 
of Hinnom, to the shoulder of the Jebusite southward, 
and went down to En-rogel ; and it was drawn north- 
ward, and went forth to En-shemesh ; and it went out 

trial, in which, also, the works of the Lord and His wonders appear : thus the 
character of what is here should be manifest. The bruised foot it is that, as 
such, bruises the serpent's head. In the day of triumph, it is the Lamb who 

The third division of the border is a much longer one, though with a number 
of smaller breaks. It is, in fact, that part of it in which is found the retracing, 
step by step, of the road traveled ; the two former introduciug us to it in the 
light by which it must all be read. Thus we begin again now with judg- 
ment : — 

"And the border went down to the end of the mountain that is before the 
valley of the son of Hinnom, which is in the valley of Rephaim on the north. " 

Here we have already seen that hell is carefully distinguished from the ene- 
my's power, which the valley of the giants represents. It is the power of God, 
and for the repression of evil. Satan does not triumph in a single soul cast into 
hell. If he could do so, heaven would be darkened forever, and the songs of the 
righteous turned into a wail. This first portion of the third division speaks in 
its number attached (as I think) of the barrenness of rebellion, accomplishing 
nothing but its own shame, while obedience is the incorruptible seed which 
really produces, and whose fruit abides. 

"And it went down the valley of Hinnom at the side of the Jebusite on the 
south." The Jebusite stands here, as we know, for Jerusalem ; but this is not 
named as it was when tracing Judah's boundary. The valley of Hinnom, dis- 
tinguished from any mere effect of the enemy's power, speaks still of the doom 
of the sinuer as not the will of God ; as "causeless," save by the sinner himself. 
Thus it is at the south side of the "treader down," not in the shadow of the 

From thence the line " weut down to Enrogel," the " ftiUer's fountain; " at the 
third step we find the place of cleansing of garments, going doivn to find it.. Not 
the toil of climbing is needed to find the renewing of the Spirit for one's per- 
sonal life ; not labor nor the uplifting of self, but self-abnegation only. How 
guilty, then, is he who refuses to take the place in which the grace of God can 
minister to bim ! 

"And it was drawn on the north, and went forth to Enshemesh," the "foun- 
tain of the sun" — a beautiful picture of the Spirit of Christ reflecting Christ ; 
and this conies under the number which speaks of practical walk : what a testi- 
mony of the ease and simplicity of a true Christian walk, the power of which is 
from above, and which without effort reflects the beams that are poured around 
it ! Man is still made nothing of, but in his weakness ministered to, as freely as 
the sun shines for all that will have it : and that is what the apostle really gives 
as the witness of Christ: "That was the true light which, coming into the 
world, shines for every man " (John i. 9). 

But why this spcification, "drawn on the north,'^ just here? Is it because, 
with all its simplicity, there seems so deep a mystery in it for most? This is at 
least true, that legality and little faith, and want of devotedness, both cloud the 
sun and diminish the flow of waters, and Enshemesh often does not answer to 
the beauty of its name. "This is a lamentation, and shall Ije for a lamen- 

"And it went out toward Geliloth, which is opposite the ascent of Adum- 
mim." Geliloth here replaces Gilgal in the boundary of Judah : it is a plural, 
but otherwise very similar, meaning circuits or revolutions. Yet there must be 

18. 17, 19. JOSHUA. 129 

to Geliloth, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim ; 

and it went down to the stone of •''Bohan the son of /ch. is. e. 

Reuben; and it passed over to the shoulder opposite 

the Arabah northward, and went down to the Arabah ; 

and the border passed over to the shoulder of Beth- 

a diflference in meaning, answering to the diflference of form, for no change can 
be without a purpose in the word of God. God Himself interprets Gilgal, ap- 
plying it to the rolling away from Israel of the reproach of Egypt. Geliloth, as 
a plural, can hardly be so definite in application. With the number five attach- 
ing to it, the number which speaks of God's governmental ways, one would think 
naturally of the revolution of those wheels of Divine Providence of which we 
were reminded in the kindred Eglon, and which are full of intelligence aud 
blessing for the man in Christ, while his place as this no revolutions can affect. 
Thus Geliloth is simply "opposite" the ascent of Adummim, the homeward 
path of the ' ' quieted ones. ' ' 

"And it went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben." This is the 
sixth point, a number which, as we know it is that of the overcomer, Bohan, the 
man of the consecrated hand, may show us the way of overcoming. Only the 
hands tipped with blood and oil can be expected to leave the Ebenezer stones 
upon the way ; and these will do it. 

And now we are nearly back to the beginning of the journey, and the next 
step brings us face to face with the desert : ' ' and it passed over to the side in 
front of the Arabah northward." A singular seventh point, as it must seem ; 
and the desert itself is the eighth : "and it went down to the Arabah." But, 
looking back as we are doing here, why should not the contemplation of the 
desert be in rest, and the desert itself become a prophecy of new creation ? God 
does not patch, and will not have the wilderness forever : must He not, then, have 
"all things new"? 

This after all may not be the interpretation : let it stand then only till a better 
is suggested. It is evident that this completes the journey, and that in the next 
division we have got to what in Egypt stood at the beginning of it for Israel, and 
without which not a step of the journey could have l)een taken : 'And the border 
passed over to the side of Bethhoglah northward. ' ' Bethhoglah , if we have rightly 
interpreted it, means "the house of revealed sacrifice," and that the word means 
strictly ^'festal sacrifice" makes the reference to the passover only more com- 
plete. The new beginning, "and the border," occurs for the fourth time in this 
southern boundary, aud so should signify that we have here a fourth division. 
This may be another surprise ; but it must be remembered, that looking back- 
wards, as we are doing now, things are seen naturally in new aspects. In this 
case the number of experience seems a beautiful a.ssurance of how the shelter, 
the joy, the power of the .sacrifice under which first we learned the blessing of 
redemption, have abode with us all the way. Redemption has been itself testi- 
fied by the full strain of all the way on to the land before us, and it has more 
than borne the strain. Its song has not died out, and never will. Well may we 
bless our God, and joyful indeed may be our hearts, that the strain of the wilder- 
ness does really fall upon the redemption provided ! The question, will the 
saint certainly come through, means really, is the salvation of Christ a complete 
salvation ? is Christ our Lord a suflScient Saviour ? 

We are now back to the sea : " And the border ended at the north bay of the 
salt sea, at the south end of Jordan." The meaning can only be what we have 
before seen when looking at Judah's boundary, death bringing to judgment, and 
the number given here aMrms it as God's government. That it is not the death 
of the sinner He desires, that we have seen most solemnly affirmed also. Judg- 
ment, we have been assured at the valley of Hinnom, is His "strange work ;" 
here, we are equally assured, it is what nevertheless, when forced to it, He will 



18. 19-21. 

hoglah, northward ; and the border ended at the north 
bay of the salt sea, at the south end of Jordan. This 
was the south border. 

And the Jordan bordereth it on the east side. This 
was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, ac- 
cording to its borders round about, according to their 

And the cities of the tribe of the children of Ben- 
jamin according to their families were : Jericho, and 

The fourth boundary of Benjamin — the eastern one — is Jordan, where we be- 
gan. Death as the penalty on men connects necessarily with death as the pen- 
alty borne for us liy Christ, and our identification with Him in it. And Jordan 
as the fourth boundary is death as stamped upon the fallen creature, — the base 
line, so to speak, of Benjamin's portion, leaving all that he has to glory in to be 
Christ alone ! 

This is the inheritance, then, of Benjamin as defined by its borders. We have 
yet to look at its cities, which fill here a second place, not, as in Judah, a fourth. 
Is it because they do not speak of experiences, but of attributes, namely, of that 
divine government which " Christ liveth in me " implies? This would seem to 
be confirmed by the grouping of the cities also. There are two groups of these 
(an eastern and a western, although not noticed as such in Scripture), and the 
fii-st consists of just twelve uames, the number of manifest divine government. 
The second, indeed, has fourteen, and yet by division stands as twelve and two, 
so that the same number is shown in it also, though more obscurely. 

The names themselves are, some of them, quite diflicult, and do not recur. 
The words for ' ' hill ' ' are proportionately frequent, as Geba, Gibeath, Ramah, 
and agree with the character of the land of Benjamin, physically and spiritually : 
for God hath made the physical the pattern of the spiritual. Would that we 
knew only how to discern it better ? 

The twelves in Scripture seem, for the most part., if not always, to divide into 
four threes, and thus every city here will find its number. The fii-st group of 
twelve seems to emphasize the poicer of the rule of Christ where the truth of 
identification with Him is known and recognized by faith. The first necessity for 
rule is power, and this in its various characters the cities here seem to express. 
They are thus arranged : — 

(1. Jericho, (1. Beth-arabah, CI. Avim, CI. Chephar-ha-Ammonai, 

l.<2. Beth-hoglab, 2.<^. Zemaraim, Z.<Z. Parah, 4.^2. Ophni, 

(3. Emek-keziz; (s. Bethel; (3. Ophrah; (,3. Geba. 

Two of the first three are familiar to us. The third, Emek-keziz, the "valley 
of cutting ofi", ' ' has been suggested by Grove, with great probability, to refer to 
the circumcision of the people after they had crossed Jordan, which certainly 
took place iu this neighborhood. Together, and especially if Emek-keziz may 
mean ' ' deep cutting, ' ' they may show us the sufficiency of Christ to meet the 
condition of the soul and govern it for God. 

Jericho, the well-known type of the world, passes, as we have already seen, 
into the possession of Benjamin — a world which belongs to the Christian only as 
he belongs to Christ, and as it, too, is kept by him under the shadow of the cross. 
Jo.seph, Manasseh, Machir, have borne in various ways testimony to this truth 
before ; and Scripture is not weary of putting us in remembrance. Thus, if 
Jericho be the shadow of Egypt here — 

Beth-hoglah carries us back to the passover, to the judgment of Egypt on its 
first-born, to the day of deliverance and departure from it ; while — 

Emek-keziz gives lis the circumcision of heart which is the "putting off the 
body of the flesh " (Col. ii.), and thus strikes at the root of all the power of the 
world. " We are the circumcision who worship God in the Spirit, and glory in 
Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." (Phil, iii.) This is sufficient 

18. 21-23. JOSHUA. 131 

Beth-hoglah, and Emek-keziz; and Beth-arabah, and 
''Zemaraim, and * Bethel; and Avvim, and Parah, and 

g cf. 2 Chr. 

h Gen. 28. 


The next three would naturally speak of it as saving power, but lu the sense 
in which the apostle uses the term in Philippiaus, not in Romans. Salvation 
may have various applications ; and that which the apostle speaks of in Philip- 
pians is not a salvation from wrath and condemnation merely. It is one agi-ee- 
ing with "my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be 
ashamed, but that in everything, as always, so now also, Christ may be magni- 
fied in my body, whether by life or death." Here we have, first of all — 

Beth-arabah, the "house of the wilderness," the world become that, a barren 
place, in which Christ is the need and home of the soul. This carries on clearly 
the truth of the first section, while it expresses in the most vivid way the reality 
of the world's power being broken. The next word — 

Zemaraim, is one of the difficult ones. It has been supposed to refer to one of the 
families of the Canaanites, the Zemarites, tenth in the genealogical list in Gene- 
sis ; but this gives no help of the kind we seek. It has been referred to an Ara- 
bic root meaning "to be weak, to languish," and to a Chaldee one signifying 
"to be hot." Yet there is a Hebrew word akin to it, Zemer, which means 
" wool," and was the chief clothing material in Israel. As a dual Ibrra, may it 
not speak of double garments, of protection from the cold which can be often 
keenly felt in Palestine ? and this would not appear unsuitable to the line of 
truth beginning with Beth-arabah. We are bidden to " j)ut on the Lord Jesus 
Christ," and the open testimony to Him implied in this is indeed an effectual 
safeguard from the chill of the world's night air. Lastly — 

Bethel, the house of God, which, as we see in Jacob's history, infers also the 
discipline of the house, is a third security for the preservation of holiness in the 
soul, and of the soul in holiness. 

The third three seem to speak of fruitfulness. Here we have, first — 

Avvim, which was the name, we may remember, of a nation destroyed by the 
Caphtorim, and who seem characterized by their name as " perverters, overturn- 
ers." It is not of necessity that they recognized this name themselves, or the 
character implied in it : such, alas, are the most quiet and respectable of those 
that are away from God. Their attitude is rebellion. They are not merely 
negatively fruitless, but positively corrupters and destroyers of what is good and 
godly. But what is the meaning of the insertion of this name among those of 
Benjamite cities? Is it, as with Israel's first name, to magnify the grace of Him 
who out of such material can make a vessel for His praise ? So I think we must 
take it, the confession of what once the people of God were in contrast with — 

Parah, in which the effect of grace is seen : "He hath become fruitful " is only 
rightly appraised when it is seen whom this "he" stands for. While in the 
third name, 

Ophrah, "the female fawn," while still the central idea is fruitfulness, there 
seem added the thoughts of beauty, gentleness, even fear, which, when it is of 
God and not of man, can clothe a Benjamite warrior with the most attractive 

These three sections seem to yield consistent meaning, on the whole, not 
doubtful. When we come to the fourth, there is more room to doubt, especially 
as to the second word, which is in general taken to refer to one of those petty 
nations with which of old, as in Christian times, the land of Israel was overrun. 
But this, for one who seeks spiritual meaning, leaves the difficulty as great as 
ever. Confessing it where we find it, there is still room to suggest what seems 
to be in harmony with the rest, and not devoid of practical instruction. 

The number speaks of testing, and the first name here is — 

Chephar-ha-Ammonai, "the village," perhaps "covert," "of the Ammonites." 
If we have rightly characterized the Ammonite (vol. i., p. 531, n), he is just the 
especial enemy and snare of the Benjamite. Leave him but Christ, and he is 

132 JOSHUA. 18. 28, 24. 

Ophrah ; and Chephar-ha-Ammonai, and Ophni, and 
Geba : twelve cities with their villages. 

safe. Filch Christ away from him, and he will be but a shorn Samson, weak as 
other men, and much more pitiable in his weakness. Now the Ammonite is, as 
we have conceived him, the heretic in doctrine, not openly but subtly ready to 
steal Christ away. And we need not wonder, so little are we competent to keep 
our choicest blessings, to find an Ammonite covert upon Israelite territory. Nay, 
it would seem they have associates, for such foes seldom work alone : — 

Ophni is named from Ophnite, another stranger possibly, although also iwssibly 
not; for it is no new thing, alas, for one's foes to be they of one's own household. 
Ophni is variously interpreted, but the meaning which seems most to be in 
keeping with its position here is that which makes the derivation to be from a 
word which in Arabic and Syriac signifies "to become mouldy." Certain it is 
that it is where decay has come in, we find a soul ready to take part with the 
Ammonite. Decay shows already that the freshness of first love is gone. Christ 
is not what He was to it; and here is the enemy's opportunity to tamper with 
His image, and bring in something which seems, perhaps, at first, to be only 
a new point of knowledge. But it is leaven in the meal, and it works as leav- 
en: by degrees the whole is leavened; there is another Christ, and not the old 

What is the remedy? That surely must be in the third name, which has the 
number of revival, of restoration, and the third name is 

Geba, "hill." Benjamin, as has been said, is full of hills. As places of com- 
parative security, cities were largely built on them, and the hill of Geba might 
well suggest a refuge from an Ammonite "covert." A hill lifts one up above 
the common level, and gives largeness of view also. Spiritually, the resort to a 
hill is a confession of feebleness, of need to be raised above oneself, of conscious- 
ness that we are in an enemy's countiy; and, simple as all this is, it is really 
our efiiectual safeguard, and the only one. Pride and self-sufficiency are at the 
Ijottom of all going astray. They prevent our recourse to Christ: "the wicked, 
through the pride of his countenance, will not seek." What snare could prevail 
against us, if we walked in self-distrust and humility with God ? if, instead of 
from the common level of the world, we looked at things from the height to 
which He would lift us ! 

Thus the last three cities show us the simple condition which secures us 
against failure and defeat: it is but the abiding in the weakness of which the 
number of weakness, the number of the creature, reminds us. How, then, it 
might be thought, could we ever be defeated ? Certainly from lack of power we 
never can. 

The rest of the cities of Benjamin form a group, fourteen in number, in which 
we have presented to us, as it would appear, the ministry of Christ, as entered 
into by the one in whom Christ lives and rules. The spirit of Christ must surely 
be eminently a spirit of service. ' ' I am among you as one that serveth ' ' were 
His own words : "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to min- 
ister, and to give His life a ransom for many." This was His glory, that He 
had come down into the world to meet, as He only could, the need of the world. 
This characterized His whole life in its human aspect; and while atonement was 
His work alone, and it is made, yet he in whom Christ lives will be of necessity 
one in whom He will be carrying on the work for which He came, in the spirit 
. of the wondrous sacrifice which was, in its full reality. His alone. Hence it is 
most interesting to see how in Benjamin now we have this thought dwelt upon; 
and in this respect also we see how he unites Judah with Ephraim, while filling 
his own individual place. Ephraim is fruitfulness, and here surely is fruitful- 
ness; yet, on the other hand, in it the Jndah character of "confession" is as 
clearly found; — the fruit is evangelical; not in personal life, which is Ephraim, 
but in testimony; while yet having to do in the closest way with personal life, 
and inseparable from power for it. Thus Benjamin's cities are 14, or 2x7, the 

18. 25-27. JOSHUA. 133 

'Gibeon, and •'Ramah, and *Beeroth, and 'Mizpeh, 
and Chephirah, and Mozah, and Rekem, and Ir-peel, 

i 1 Ki. 3. 4 
j Jud. 4. 5. 
k 2 Sam.4.2. 
I 1 Kl. 15.22. 
Neh. 3. 7. 

number of testimony united with that which speaks of a perfect and divine 
work; while, when divided, as it is divided for us here, it exhibits the numbers 
12+2, again the number of testimony, with that which speaks of divine rule, as 
in the last series.* 

Let us now look at this larger section, which as 12 we should find again to be 
a 4 X 3, and to begin with the work which stamps its character upon the whole 
of it, the work of the cross. The cities are thus arranged: — 

(i. Gibeon, fi. Mizpeh, fi. Rekem, (i. Zelah, 

S. Ramah, 2. \ 2. Chephirah, 3. \ ?. Irpeel, 4. \ 2. Eleph, 
5. Beeroth; (5. Mozah; i^. Taralah; (5. Jebusi( Jerusalem ). 

What does Gibeon mean ? The almost unanimous assurance of lexicographers 
and commentators is that it is connected with Gibeah, a common word for 
" hill," the termination giving it a possessive form — " of a hill," a hill city. I 
confess I can make nothing of it if this be the interpretation : others may, no 
doubt, succeed better. 

But there is an alternative. It may be a compound word, and so mean ' ' pit of 
iniquity"; or the last part of the word may stand, as sometimes, for " mffering 
for iniquity." The latter meaning I believe to be the true one, and it connects 
then clearly with the history. The Gibeonites did suffer for the deceit thej' 
practiced upon Joshua and Israel, being reduced to bondmen for the imposi- 

But while there is thus a plain link with the history, the spiritual significance 
is a much deeper one; and here the Cross is surely the true Gibeon, the " pit of 
suffering for iniquity " indeed. In a series of names developing the significance 
which we should easily find in them, how divinely suitable is it that that Mhich 
was the Lord's supremest act of ministrj'^, in its full character quite inimitable, 
should lead the way! 

Then the second name, Ramah, an "elevated place," under the number of 
salvation, points clearly to the acceptance of that wondrous work, the answer of 
God to the humiliation and suffering of His Son ; and then the answer of the 
Holy Ghost follows in — 

Beeroth, the " wells " of salvation, out of which, for the need of men, with joy 
we may draw abundant water. 

Here, then, is the fountain-head as well as snblimest pattern of ministry, and 
that which constitutes our sufficiency for it. The next three contemplate the 

* There is, however, lack of an " and " before " Eleph," which should be pointed out, and 
would sug:gest, as in other cases, a division here. The 14 would then stand as 10.2.2. I can 
only mention this and leave it, as the meaning seems to make it 12.2, as shown directly. The 
letter v may have dropped out, but I know of no evidence from MSS. 

t A question naturally will he raised here which would equally apply to the interpretation 
assigned to many of these names, and for that reason deserves a special answer. It may be 
asked, Could one suppose the Gibeonites to have designated their city by such a name, a name 
which would have been a prophetic judgment upon their own condition? To this, however, 
there may be given more than one sufficient answer. 

1. The name may not be exactly the original one, but somewhat altered by the Israelites, as 
we know to have been the case in other instances (as, e. g., Deut. ii. 11, 20 : comp. Gen. xiv. 5), 
as a comment upon the history. 

2. With other names, it may be really ambiguous, and capable of a deeper meaning, which 
the Spirit of God develops for us. 

3. It must not be overlooked that the hand of God has been manifestly over the history, and 
that numerous names are distinctly prophetic. All those of typical persons are of necessity so, 
and evidently without any thought of prophesying on the part of those who bestowed them. 
He without whom not a sparrow falls overrules men in their ignorance continually leading 
them undesignedly and in spite of themselves to fulfill His will. These three considerations 
cover, as I believe, everj' case such as that before us ; and not merely answer the questions, 
but give us deeper views of divine government than are commonly entertained among Chris- 
tians to-day. 

134 JOSHUA. 18. 27, 28. 

and Taralah, and Zelah, Eleph, and "* Jebusi (the same 
is Jerusalem), Gibeath, Kirjath: fourteen cities with 

enemy of this work, whose opposition we have to meet, and from the begin- 

Mizpeh, the " watch-tower, " bids us cultivate the spirit that this implies, and 
be upon our guard against an observant, powerful, and unchanging foe. This is 
an imperative need for one who would follow in any measure the footstei)s of the 
Saviour of men. We cannot afford for a moment to ignore this foe ; only at our 
peril can we be "ignorant of his devices." Thus the second name here is — 

Chephirah, a word which is from caphar, to "cover," and is but the feminine 
form of chephir, a "young lion," so called from his habit of constantly lurking 
in the coverts: "covert-lion" would be a just rendering, and combines the idea 
of treachery and craft with power and destructiveness. Here is the enemy, 
and in— 

Mozah we have the mode of attack. Mozah means simply ' ' going forth, ' ' and 
must refer to the attack simply, the lion leaving his covert. But this by itself 
would be almost insignificant : it is a matter of course that the lion will attack. 
Combine this thought with another, and you have a real warning. Mozah, as 
going forth, is by interpreters given as a "fount or spring-head"; and it is well 
known how the lion will look around such places to prey upon the thirst-driven 
herds that resort to the waters. Here, indeed, is the place, also, of Satan's spe- 
cial attack. Where the Spirit of God is working and souls are being ministered 
to, there he delights with his roar and the agonized cry of some victim to scatter 
those of whom God says, ' ' Gather my people together, and I will give them 

And what remedy? Faith in the great Shepherd whose watchful care is over 
His own. Vigilance and alertness on the part of His people. The knowledge of 
Satan's method of itself arms us against him. 

We have now another three, which, as a third, should show us the Holy Spirit's 
work ; and so it does. The first word is peculiar and touching : it is— 

Rekem, "embroidery," a word that might be thought to have only a very 
fanciful connection with any spiritual work. Nor is it employed exactly in this 
way; bat the verb is used in a striking passage in that wonderful psalm, the 
139th, in which God's thought and care of man is traced from his beginnings in 
the womb : — " My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, 
and citrioiisly wrought'^ — "embroidered" — "in the lowest parts of the earth." 
And, indeed, the curious interweaving of nerves, veins, arteries, together can l)e 
compared to nothing more justly than to a marvellous embroidery. This, of 
coui-se, in all men : and can God be wanting in consideration and tenderness for 
a l)eing upon whom He has bestowed such wonderful care? 

This is but the body; but the Psalmist rises up to the « fortiori argument — 
how much more, then, must He care for the soul! 

But the body falls a victim to disease none the less, and in death all this elab- 
orate workmanship becomes a prey to corruption. Yes ; for the spirit, which is 
the crown and unifier of the body, has fallen away from God its life, and thus the 
unity which depends upon it tends ever to break up, too ! None can restore the 
body but He who can restore and set right the spirit. Here the marvellous work 
of Christ alone can suffice to assure us that man is still unchangeably the object 
of divine regard. The ministry of Christ addresses itself to every one of these 
creatures that He has made, and the next word is — 

Irpeel, "(7od healeth": that is the glorious news. It is the precious fact, 
which every true worker for God realizes in his own experience. The breach in 
man is healed, because the breach with God is healed, and thus there is 

Taralah, ' ' the turning away of curse. " Simple all this is ; how good to know 
that such blessedneas as this to-day is simple. Yet, simple as it is, how great — 
as great as ever — the need of the proclamation of it still ! 

18. 28-19. 1. JOSHUA. 135 

6 (xix. 1-9.) 
Simeon : 


their villages. This was the inheritance of the children 
of Benjamin according to their families. 

(b) And the second lot came out for "Simeon, — for the 
tribe of the children of Simeon according to their fam- 

n Num. 26. 

We have now come to the fourth three, the number of practical life, the num- 
ber, also, as we are continually reminded, of creature weakness. Here we have, 
first — 

Zelah, "rib," that which the Lord God at the beginning took from Adam, and 
built up iuto a woman, and ordained her to be the help-meet of man. Here the 
weakness of the creature was recognized and provided for. " It is not good that 
the man should be alone," God says ; and yet he was then as he had been made 
exactly. The woman, weaker still than he, is ordained his helper. Was she 
not in some way that by her very weakness? Cast upon him in his strength, a 
being formed for aifection, as an object for the heart to develop the heart in him, 
deliver him from self-occupation, aud, by the help she needed, help her helper? 
Here is natural ministry, ordained at creation, by which we are linked together 
by the need we have of one another, and in giving receive, and receive more than 
we give. Thus, indeed, is ministry as mercy ' ' twice-blessed ' ' : and this reflex 
influence of it Zelah seems to stand for and suggest. 

Elepb, "ox," from alaph, "to learn," implies training, education, while it is 
the well-known type of the patient laborer. The number, which is that of addi- 
tion, progress, emphasizes the former meaning. He who would teach must him- 
self be taught; and he who would teach with God must have learnt with God. 
God's school is one how different from man's ! aud in it we must never disjoin 
' ' Master and Lord. ' ' 

Thirdly, Jebusi, the "treader down," when synonymous with Jerusalem, 
"the fouudatiou of peace," that is, with righteousness, leads us to think still of 
the laborer, aud, indeed, of the threshing of wheat, which was doue after this 
manner. After Da\'id had taken the city, so that it had really become Jerusa- 
lem, we find the Jebusite Araunah at this work. Threshing is distinguishing 
work : the wheat is separated from the chaff; and this not as mere classification, 
but because the wheat is wanted, and wanted free from chaff. "If thou take 
forth the precious from the vile," says God to Jeremiah, " thou shalt be as My 
mouth. ' ' And this is the sanctification of labor, when it is used to separate that 
which is of God for God ; when the heart is on that which is precious, deals with 
evil only that God may have His place and glory — what is His. And thus the 
picture is complete. 

But there are still two cities more, exceedingly simple in their names ; simple, 
also, in their significance — 

Gibeath, which is "hill," and 

Kirjath, which is "city" — '^walled city," really. What can be implied by 
this, except to show us what is the help of labor, what it looks toward and 
intends. Gibeath the hill is the foundation of the city : ' ' His foundation is in 
the holy mountains " is said of Zion. (Ps. Ixxxvii. 1.) There is but one foun- 
dation for the laborer with God, and that is Christ: "other foundation can no 
man lay;" let us maintain it in these darkening days. 

Upon this foundation God is building a city ; and, blessed be His name, we are 
permitted to be helpers therein. It is a city "compacted together,"* a place 
where, at last, the links begun on earth shall find their appropriate sphere and 
sweet acknowledgment. It will be seen, then, that God never intended man to be 
alone, and that the city, though not in His paradise of old, was His first thought. 
There, too, shall His delight iu man of old find its expression. God shall dwell 
among them ; His glory shall be over them forever, and the Lamb the lamp 

(6) The second lot comes forth to Simeon, in perfect accordance with the char- 
acter of the tribe, whose weakness we have seen to be in its readily formed asso- 

o ch. 15. 21, 

136 JOSHUA. 19. 1-6. 

ilies ; and their inheritance was in the midst of the inher- 
itance of the children of Judah. And they had in their 
inheritance "Beersheba, and Sheba [Shema?], and Mo- 
ladah ; and Hazar-shual, and Balali, and Ezem ; and 
Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, and Ziklag, and 
Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susah, and Beth-lebaoth, 
and Sharuen : thirteen cities with their villages. 

ciations, and for whom God has now, it appears, associations after His own mind, 
while thus is fulfilled Jacob's prophecy as to them, " I will divide them in Jacob 
aud scatter them in Israel." These two seemingly so opposite thiugs are accom- 
plished by their receiving their inheritance in the shape of cities scattered, more 
or less, within the territory already given to Judah — cities that they are unable 
to occupy by reason of their portion being too large for them. Alas, how little 
are we able to enjoy all the blessing God has made our own ! But thas He 
makes the need of Simeon supply the need of Judah, and exhibits to us the de- 
pendence of communion (which Simeon stands for) upon worship — the depend- 
ence, too, (though with a characteristic ditfereuce,) of worship upon communion. 
Very much as the Levites were in Leviticus given to the priests, so here, we may 
say, is Simeon given to Judah. 

Simeon has thus not a territory, properly, at all ; and so no boundary-lines are 
drawn or spoken of Communion has in fact, so to speak, no territory of its 
own — no boundary-lines. The cities speak, not of the thiugs which it has for 
its own peculiar enjoyment, but of what God has provided for it that it may be 
maintained. Thus, for instance, Hazar-shual, the restraint upon the flesh, is 
necessary for the existence of communion, but ideally it belongs as much to Ju- 
dah, as we have already seen ; nor can that be a matter of communion which is 
not one of worship also. 

There are questions about these Simeonite cities, even as to the number of 
them, the first series being given as thirteen, while there are in the Hebrew text 
fourteen. The names themselves, according to the commentators, are often rep- 
resented differently in the Judean list, with sometimes a third difl'erence in 
1 Chronicles. For the most part, we may pass over all this, except as the spir- 
itual meaning may be in question, and therefore shall address oui-selves to this 
at once, believing assuredly that "all these things happened unto them for 
types, and " in this way " were written for our admonition." There are abun- 
dant commentaries upon the letter, so that it scarcely needs to add much to the 
mass that has been accumulated with regard to this. 

The first and much the largest series of names, whether they are thirteen or 
fourteen in number, seems to divide again into four parts, the first three of these 
being again series of threes. They present to us that which is necessary for the 
existence of communion, the first three carrying us back to new birth itself 
We have had the names liefore : they are — 

First, Beersheba, the "well of the oath." This si>eaks to us clearly of the 
Spirit of God, ours as secured and justified by the value of Christ in His perfec- 
tion as the sacrificial Victim — the seven lambs. 

The second, in the common text, Sheba, seems to be an error of transcription 
for what the Septuagiut substitutes for it, Shema ("report"), which in the list 
of cities of the south stands in the same way before — 

Moladah, " birth," and with the same meaning. We are born of the Spirit, 
born of the Word; and this is the first qualification for communion, a nature 
capable of apprehending and enjoying the things of God. 

The second three speak of the sin yet within, from the power of which there 
must be deliverance ; aud first therefore here — 

Hazar-shual, "the jackal-pen," the restraint upon the flesh, which has been 
elsewhere more fully pictured to us. We have, then — 

Balah, "withered, old," which, under the number which speaks both of the 

19. 7, 8. JOSHUA. 137 

Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan : four cities with 
their villages. 

And all the villages that were round about these 
cities to Baalath-beer, Ramah of the south. 

cross and of salvation, reminds ns that "our old man is crucified with Christ, 
that the body of sin might be destroyed (annulled), that henceforth we should 
not serve sin. " (Rom. vi. 6.) And thus — 

Under the number of the Spirit and of resurrection from the dead we have 
Azem, "streugth" — ability to enter unhindered into the portion God has made 
our own, to enjoy it with Grod. 

The third three now speak of realized consecration : first — 

Eltolad, " Grod is begetter," which gives the divine claim over ns as His chil- 
dren — no more absolute or endearing claim than this ; and God is here El, 
"the Mighty," able, spite of all hindrances, to make good His claim. Hence, 
on the one side we have 

Bethul, ' ' separated to God, ' ' or, on the other — 

Hormah, "ban," separated to destruction, if against Him. Here is absolute 
devotedness, that knows no indifference, no neutrality. He, and that, that is 
not for God is against Him; he that gathereth not with Him scattereth abroad. 

The fourth section is more difficult, though not as to the meanings, except 
with regard to the first word, which is — 

Ziklag. If the last syllable be, as some believe, inverted for the sake of 
euphony, then it may mean most fittingly " the pressure of the wave " ; and this 
would suit well the number of the section at the head of which it stands. It 
would thus plainly indicate an hour of trial such as is permitted to test every- 
thing that purports to be of God. The next two words — 

Beth-marcaboth, the "house of chariots," and — 

Hazar-susah, the " horee-enclosure, " remind one perforce, in such a connec- 
tion, of the psalmist's words, "Some trust in horses, and some in chariots." 
(Ps. XX. 7.) The multiplication of either was forbidden to the Israelites on this 
very account. Both were used mainly for purposes of war; but Israel's reliance 
was to be the Lord their God. 

Beth-lebaoth, the "house of lionesses," follows in the fourth place, in the 
Hebrew text. There does not seem the usual clearness, and there must be 
somewhere some mistake ; for while Sharuhen, the "dwelling of grace," accord- 
ing to the dictionaries, would come not unsuitably in the fifth place, the number 
must then be fourteen instead of thirteen, as in the Hebrew text. The differ- 
ences in the Septuagiut and in 1 Chronicles do not lessen the perplexity, which 
we must leave, however regretfully, just where it is. 

The next group is only of four cities. Two of them. Ether and Ashan, we have 
had already, plainly referring to our Lord's sanctuary work. Rimmon, the 
" pomegranate," was on the border of the high-priest's garment". Ain, the first, 
means "eye" as well as "spring"; and the eye of the priest was constantly in 
requisition. What we have here, then, is that priestly work of Christ for us, 
which is needed for the maintenance of communion, as of worship. 

Ain comes in the first" place, the "eye" which searches out perfectly the 
truth, in order that intercession may be according to the need, and so the grace 
ministered. This eye may well be courted, rather than feared: it is the eye of 
the physician and the friend, not of the judge or accuser; and for the mainte- 
nance of communion, what is more necessary than the cry, ' ' Search me, O God, 
and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts ; and see if there be any 
wicked way in me " (Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24) ? The Psalmist knew not, as we know, 
the blessedne^ of One standing as the Mediator-priest, where Christ stands now; 
and that "throne of grace " to which we are bidden to "come boldly, that we 
may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, ' ' was not to him 



19. 8-10. 

c (xlx. 10- 

Zebulon : 

This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of 
Simeon according to their families. Out of the portion 
of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the chil- 
dren of Simeon ; for the portion of the children of Ju- 
dah was ^ too great for them: therefore the children of 
Simeon inherited within their inheritance. 

(c) And the third lot came up for the children of 
« Zebulon according to their families : and the border of 

p Ch. 17. 16. 
Ex. 12. 4. 

q Num. 26. 

26, 27. 

fair aud full in view, and sprinkled with the blood of Christ, as to-day we know 
it. We can "draw near" as he could not; and what hinders in us the drawing 
near, except the fear that the light of the throne and the eye of omuiscieuce may 
lay hare in its reality something we would not have exposed — that we do not 
wish to see just as it is? 

Can there yet he in us such treachery toward Him whom yet we know we can- 
not deceive ? or can there be in Christian hearts such power for self-deception ? 
Let us face the question for ourselves — not in the abstract merely: "Lord, is 
there possibly such ingratitude, as well as self-deceit, in me?" 

Ain has thus very special importance in the list of Simeon's cities. 

There follows it Remmon, or Rimmon, the "pomegranate," beautiful in 
flower and rich in fruit, and packed with its many seeds ; on the high-priest's 
garment it speaks of the gospel and its results, and here apparently of the same 
precious Word, which is indeed nothing else but gospel, and by means of which 
alone communion is maintained. In the pomegranate, though not of great 
height (which would make its treasures difficult of access), the leaf is evergreen, 
the flower and fruit are alike beautiful, the seeds of future fruit are found every- 
where in the fruit: a precious picture of the word of divine testimony. And that 
which goes tor communion, yet is not dependent on and maintained by that 
which is the communication of the grace of God, His mind for men, — is not com- 
munion. So important is this second city of Simeon, in this place. 

The third is Ether, which has been before shown to speak of ' ' prayer, ' ' and 
that the "effectual, prevailing prayer" of the truly " Righteous" One — "Jesus 
Christ the righteous." This the number marks as special sanctuary work: 
and hidden from us as it is, what we owe to it we shall only rightly know 

The fourth city — reminding us once more of our weakness — is Ashau, 
"smoke," and which also we have seen to refer to the sauctuaiy incense. We 
are thus brought now to consider the need we have of prayer ourselves, and the 
virtue which Christ's perfection gives to it. With which this series seems to be 
every way, indeed, complete. 

To these, as an appendix, are added many unnamed villages round alwut these 
cities to Baalath-beer, the Ramath of the south, names beautifully and simply 
expressive. The ' ' mistress of the ^v€ll ' ' must of necessity be ' ' the exalted one ' ' 
of the dry "south," but which only needs the water to develop into magniliceut 
fruitfuluess. Blessed be God that for us there is this constant need of water from 
beneath and from above. Egypt, with its river of which they cannot see the 
source, is not our portion; we have need of the Spirit, aud thus His gracious, 
patient, abundant ministry, as witnessed to us in the first of Simeon's cities, 
secured to us by oath. " He who can swear by no greater has sworn by Himself, 
saying. Surely, blessing, I will hless thee!" Be it so, amen, Ix)rd; and may 
faith in Thy people grasp the blessing ! 

(c) And now we go on to Zebulon, whose significance is simple from his name 
and the way in which Leah uses it. She called him Zebulon (dwelling), saying, 
" This time will my husband dwell with me." The spiritual thought connected 
with Zebulon is dwelling in the relation which God has given us to Himself, 
which is the only true thought of consecration. And with this the number un- 
der which we find Zebulon here plainly agrees. 

19. 10-13. JOSHUA. 139 

their inheritance was unto Sarid ; and their border went 

up westward, even to Maralah, and touched Dabbe- 

sheth, and touched the brook which is before Jokneam, 

and it turned from Sarid eastward, toward the rising of 

the sun, to the border of *■ Chisloth-tabor, and went forth r jud. 4. e. 

to Daberath, and went up to Japhia; and thence it 

Zebnlon's border is given in three divisions, not completely: why should it be 
assumed that it ever -was, or was intended to be, complete ? We touch every- 
where here upon things that are beyond us ; and they cannot always, perhaps, 
have — sometimes need not have — complete definition. The spiritual sense — 
spiritual profit — governs everything here as much as in any other part of the 
word of God; and this destroys entirely the value of much acute criticism: we 
must get the divine, not the mere human, point of view. Certainly it can hardly 
be supposed that all the deficiencies that are to be found in this respect in the 
enumeration of cities here or the tracing of the boundary-lines are mere gaps in 
the manuscripts ! If so, they are more imperfect than we have had any idea of. 
On the other hand, that there is design in the omissions is evident to one who 
will reverently consider them in the light only of such imperfect study as we are 
pursuing now; and the deeper the study, if a believing one, the more will this 
be apparent. 

Judging simply from the language used, the description of the border falls 
into three parts, the first of which goes no further than to name the starting- 
point. This must, then, be of intense importance. From it the boundary is 
traced both west and east: — 

"And the border of their inheritance was as far as Sarid." 

Sarid means "remnant" — "what is left"; and this, under the number which 
may imply singularity or solitariness, should be, indeed, suflQciently impressive. 
"Antipas," whom the Lord calls "my faithful martyr," according to the signifi- 
cance of a name evidently meant to be significant, had ' ' every one against" him: 
and if we are to be truly consecrated men, we must, before all things, dare to be 
singular. God must control us, as if there were not another. I do not mean, of 
course, that He will desire to have us, even for a moment, indifferent to others. 
Yet, says the Lord, " If any man come after Me, and hate not his father, and 
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life 
also, he cannot be My disciple. ' ' (Luke xiv. 26. ) This is simply uncompromis- 
ing obedience, which to anything but a perfect will would be insanity, but 
which to God is the highest reason that can be. And this is insisted on, by the 
mere description of this boundary of Zebulon, in the most absolute way. "You 
must start," it says, " if you are going to define for yourself what consecration 
to God is, by yourself alone — a remnant of one, if need be " ! How important is it 
to get the right starting-point! 

The consequences are not hidden: "And the border went up westward, even 
to Maralah ('shaking '), and touched Dabbesheth (the ' murmuring of reproach '), 
and touched the brook which is before Jokneam (' the possession of the people '). " 
Before, in front of, not in the poasession of, the people: there is the refreshment 
God has provided for you ; and alas, you wiU find, if you are on this track, that 
the mass do not share it with you! It is beyond them, not because God will 
have it so, but they will have it. 

In this part of the line we have been going westward— /acinj' the sea. But 
there is another way. However, we must return to Sarid first: — 

"And it turned from Sarid eastward, toward the rising of the sun" — the 
double view of the east, meeting, like Judah in the wilderness, the breath of the 
desert with the song of the dawn — "to the border of Chisloth -Tabor " (the 
"loins," that is, the "strength of purpose"). 

Here there is a well-pro\aded road : "And it went forth to Daberath ('pas- 


140 JOSHUA. 19. 13, 14. 

passed eastward, toward the rising of the sun, to 'Gath- «2Ki.i4.25. 
hepher, to Eth-kazin, and went out to Rimmon, which 
reacheth unto Neah ; and the border turned about it 

tare'), and went up to Japhia," " shining." The splendor of the dawn already 
greets one on this higher land. 

' 'And thence it passed eastward, toward the rising of the sun, to Gath-hepher 
(the 'winepress-digging'), to Ethkazin (the 'occasion for a captain'); and it 
went out to Rimmon, ' ' the ' ' pomegranate, ' ' which we have seen but awhile since 
to symbolize the precious word of God — "which reacheth unto Neah" (the 
" wanderer ") — thank God, it does ! All this speaks easily of the activity and 
energy which characterize the Zebulonite who dwells with God. Notice that 
the word of God in its fullness, which the pomegranate so strikingly represents, 
furnishes and gives direction to these activities ; and that the "captain " is, lit- 
erally, ' ' the outermost man, ' ' the one who stands out from the rest, which is 
really the thought with which we started here. 

We have now come to the third and last part ol the border, which seems as if 
it should speak of imvard realization of the Zebnlon portion. " And the border 
turned about it (Rimmon) northward to Hannathon, and ended in the valley of 
Jephtah-el." Hannathon means "obtained by grace," and the border clings 
to Rimmon in reaching it. Nothing, indeed, to the soul that walks with God, 
can be a deeper experience than that all is of grace ; there is none with which 
the "Word more unites itself than this. But why does the border turn northward 
here ? Is it because this abundant grace is at the same time a great mystery ? It 
ends at Jephtah-el, "God openeth," the word for God being El, the Mighty. But 
openeth what ? Is it the way of access to Himself? Is it the deep things which 
His Spirit searcheth? Is it the way before us as we travel it? It may well be 
all these, as nothing here would seem to limit it. But with the man who dwells 
with God, the grace and power of God, with the fullness that is in His bounteous 
hand, seem to be spoken of as the sweet and certified realities. Correspondingly, 
the line ends in a " valley ": weakness and nothingness are realized, not in dis- 
may or discouragement, but the very opposite. Still they are realized: for " the 
High and Holy One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy," saith : "I 
dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble 
spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite 
ones." (Isa. Ivii. 15.) 

The list of the cities of Zebulon comes in the fourth place, not separated from 
the boundary, but apparently including those that have been mentioned in 
it: for they are said to be twelve in number, while only five are given apart 
from these. Keil owns that "after deducting Chisloth-Tabor and Dabrath, 
which belonged to Issachar, the names Sarid, Maralah, Dabbasheth, Japhia, 
Gath-hepher, Eth-Kazin, and Channathon, give just seven towns. Neverthe- 
less," he adds, " there is very little probability in this conjecture." The only 
alternative being to imagine a gap to this extent in the text, impossible to fill 
up, or that five should replace twelve, as the number of cities, involving a merely 
conjectural alteration of it, let us see how interpretation may help us to decide 
the matter. 

Now the number five, as that of man with God, is one that we might expect to 
find in relation to Zebulon. The twelve of the text, however, does not displace 
it as the number of cities in this fourth section, while it adds to it the thought 
of manifest divine control which suits Zebulon certainly, no less than Benjamin. 
But this is not enough to decide so doubtful a matter. Our only sufficient argu- 
ment will be found in examining, in the light of the numerals, the names actu- 
ally found here, and see how they will read on either supposition. 

There is a difficulty as to the meaning of one, if not two, of the names also, 
which is disappointing, especially where a question of this kind is to be de- 
cided. Critics are, however, I believe, agreed that in Isa. vii. 19, the word 

19. 14, 15. JOSHUA. 141 

northward to Hannathon^ and ended in the valley of 
Jiphtah-el. And Kattath, and Nahalal, and Shimron, 
and Idalah, and Bethlehem : twelve cities and their 

which stands second here means, not "bushes," as our common version reads, 
but "pastures." The fourth word, Idalah, is much more uncertain. Simonis 
gives "God exalteth," but the etymology is not as clear as one would desire. 
Dr. Young gives " memorial of God, " but of course says nothing of etymology, 
and is in general but little reliable on accouut of his common preference of an 
inferential for a literal rehdering. The other names are clear, and the list will 
stand thus : — 

1. Kattath, "little." 

2. Nahalal, "pasture." 

3. Shimron, "watch," or "watchful care." 

4. Idalah, "God exalteth," "memorial of God." 

5. Bethlehem, ' ' house of bread. ' ' 

If these, as Keil suggests, are part of a series of twelve, the numbers will be 
quite different. Twelve is always in Scripture, as far as I am aware, a series of 
three (4x3); but then we do not know the places of the five here in the twelve. 
You may interpolate names ad lihiium, and give existing ones any imaginable 
place. If they are the closing fragment, the numbers would be 2. 3. 1. 2. 3, and 
would belong to the third and fourth sections of the whole. I think that they 
will be found to yield in this way no consistent interpretation. 

Now let us read them as they stand. First, as a fourth division of the account 
of Zebulon, they give us things which test the truth of such consecration as we 
have seen that he represents. This thought of "tests " is the only one the num- 
ber stands for, which links together these five names in one consistent meaning. 

The first name is Kattath, "little," the number being that which speaks of 
integrity, whole-heartedness. Now it is just that which is little which tests us in 
this respect. " He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: 
and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." (Luke xvi. 10.) The 
great things many motives may conspire to induce us to regard. Things that 
are in themselves moral or immoral command any ordinary conscience ; but to 
that of which no account can be given but that it is the Lord's will, how many 
excuses can be found for disobedience ! Thus, how many respect James's admoni- 
tion as to rich and poor in the assembly (Jas. ii. 1-4) ? and there are things in 
abundance, that can be found by any one who will seek for them, that are much 
keener tests than this. 

The second name is Nahalal, ' ' pasture ' ' ; and while, at first sight, there does 
not seem much in this to connect with the line of thought before us, it is a fact 
that there is scarcely anything, perhaps, that is a greater test of the soul's con- 
dition than that of where it seeks its food. The Israelite's restrictions as to food 
have here plain and serious application. (See Lev. xi.) He who finds his recre- 
ation in the novel or the newspaper, how can he seek or find it in the things of 
God? On the other hand, can there be a soul that is with God, to whom His 
word is not a constant necessity, and an unfailing source of interest and delight? 
Such questions have but one answer ; and they completely j ustify the place of 
Nahalal among the Zebulon names : while the numerical place puts to us the 
apostle's admonition itself, so emphasizing the necessity we have just appealed 
to, '■'■ As new-born habes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow 
thereby y (1 Pet. ii. 2.) How much does a new-born babe need milk? 

The third name is Shimron, "watchful care." And the habitual realization 
of the Lord's presence will surely be marked by habitual watchfulness over our- 
selves. Not that it will induce or promote legal self-occupation. Legality 
makes much of self, which is the centre of its hopes and fears. The presence of 
the Lord, where realized in the sense of His grace, occupies us with Him, but 
thus makes evil much more hateful and horrible, and throws over one the shield 


d(w. 17-23.) 
tBe walk 
on earth. 


19. 15, 18. 

villages. This was the inheritance of the children of 
Zebulon according to their families : these cities and 
their villages. 

(d) The fourth lot came forth for ' Issachar, — for the 
children of Issachar according to their families. And 
their territory was unto " Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and 

t Num. 26. 

u 1 K 1.18.45. 
1 Ki. 21. 1, 
etc. I 

HOS. 1.4,14.1 

which repels it. The holiness of God's presence therefore famishes the third 

The fourth name is Idalah: and here Simonis gives, at least, the meaning which 
seems to furnish one of the most searching tests of all. When " God exalteth," 
how readily may we forget that native weakness of which the number remiuds 
us ! Even the apostle Paul needed in such a case a "thorn in the flesh " — Sa- 
tan's buffeting to balance the tendency to self-exaltation. Here is the snare of 
one who may stand forth at the moment of need for a " captain ' ' ; and how 
great is the need of such leaders being remembered at the throue of grace ! 

The fifth and final name is Bethlehem, the "house of bread." We have be- 
fore recognized it as the sweet and fitting title of the Father's house. There 
there will be no testing ; but for the Zebulonite who dwells with God even here, 
where He is pleased to have a tabernacle in the wilderness, it will not surely be 
the less, but the more, a longing to dwell with Him where His own house is. 
The coming of the Lord is thus left as the final appeal to the heart in Scripture : 
' ' Behold, I come quickly. ' ' May our hearts answer, as did his to whom the 
announcement was made ! The number here is five, that of God with man, and 
of the recompensing end! Could there be greater harmony? 

I think that the demonstration is complete that the names of the cities are not 
a fragment, but a perfect whole. Yet the number twelve seems to me right also 
in the way that others have suggested, viz. , by counting in the border cities. In 
this way the text of our Bibles is right in both respects. 

{d) The fourth lot is that of Issachar. And while we have had little to show 
us the spiritual significance of the tribe, there is but one which can be attached 
to it in the place which it here occupies. Issachar must speak of the walk upon 
earth, of course to be distinguished from Ephraim, which is fruit developed in 
character. The character being manifested in the walk, and the deeds done in the 
body that of which account is to be given, and for which reward is received, 
very clearly explains the name Issachar, "there is reward." We see, too, why 
there is no real attempt to draw the boundary-line : little definition can be in 
this case needed. 

There are three parts to the description, the first of which contains thirteen 
out of the sixteen cities. This first part considers the walk in itself, and is sub- 
divided again into four parts, three of three, and the fourth of four names. It 
is the usual division of twelve with one name additional added to the last part. 

Looking at the names, it is evident that they are very different in character 
from most of the former ones. They seem to be full of warnings, the first sec- 
tion to be little else ; and the walk itself pictured as in a scene of danger and of 
sorrow, although there is, blessed be God, another side. The first section stands 
thus : — 


1. Jezreel, 
S. Chesulloth, 
S. Shunem ; 

(1. Hapharaim, ( 1. 

S. Shion, 3. \ 2. 

S. Anaharath; (.5. 

Rabbith, ( 1. Remeth, 

Kishion, 4 J ^- En-gannim, 
Abez ; 1 5. En-haddah, 

14- Beth-pazzez, 
The first three give us what we may call the harmony of the walk. The 

Jezreel, "seed of God," reminds us again of the new birth without which 
there can be no right walk at all, and which is of the incorruptible seed of the 
word of God. (1 Pet. i. 23.) This "seed," when truly received in the power of 

19. 18-22. JOSHUA. 143 

"Shunem, and Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath, 
and Eabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, and Remeth, and 
Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Beth-pazzez ; and the 

V 1 Sam. 
28. 4. 
2 Ki. 4. 8. 

the Holy Ghost, carries the life in it, according to the natural type. Grod's work 
comes thus necessarily at the beginning of all else, and we have as the result 
developed iu it — 

Chesulloth, literally "loins," which are so called from their stiffness and 
strength, and stand spiritually for the confidence which gives strength, enabling 
the back to carry its burden and the whole man for his work. The stiffness here 
implied is an important feature, imaging an unyielding faith which is needed for 
the world we pass through ; while — 

Shuuem, "conformity," literally "their being leveled" or "made like," 
speaks of the life being shaped by the word received. These three things are 
clearly at the basis of all right walk. 

The next three warn us at once of the opposition to be met and of the jwssible 
result of much toil and eager expectation : — 

Hapharaim, "double confusion," a word which "applies," says Wilson, "to 
being frustrated and disappointed of one's plans and expectations." Here it is 
in the dual number, and may perhaps imply disappointment both of present 
success and future reward. For even with the Christian, alas, not everything 
that seemeth right iu his own eyes is really found to be so : how much is not 
conformed to the one only standard of the woixi of God, but, at the best, to what 
we may think reasonable ! But reason cannot rise up to that ' ' wisdom which 
is from above," and which, with "every good and perfect gift, cometh down 
from the Father of lights." (Jas. iii. 17 ; i. 17.) Here is what avails for every 
position iu which one can be found ; but alas, our own wills come in to obscure 
to us His perfect will; and may not this be what the numerical place indicates, 
the thing in which our danger lies so constantly — an independent will ? 

Shion, though generally given as "destruction," may mean, rather, "he who 
puts at ease," the link between the two meanings being that of "security;" in 
the sense of that false ease which often exposes to destruction. Here it would 
seem that we should have the better sense. Having given us already the ' ' con- 
fusion" which may be oura from taking our own way, what should the names 
show us now under the number of salvation but the One Person who alone can 
give us rest and security, "quiet from the fear of evil " ? Christ is unfailingly 
our safeguard in all doubtful matters, the Shepherd who "leads in paths of 
righteousness for His name's sake." (Ps. xxiii. 3.) And suitedly there would 
follow, under the number that speaks of holiness — 

Anaharath, for which Dr. Young gives the meaning of the "narrow way." 
This seems to verifj' itself by its perfect appropriateness to all the connection. 
Truth is one, and the right way for us at any time is only one, for God has only 
one thing in His will for us at any one time. The Spirit of God says to us, 
''''This is the way," and not ^'^ any one of these is the way." Thus it is narrow; 
but who that knows it would wish it to be broader ? "Who would desire to have 
a choice of his own, who could have instead God's choice for him ? 

The third three are more difficult. The numerical place may speak of reali- 
zation or of manifestation, possibly both : at least the realization of many a hope 
makes manifest what it is, and the true nature of our desire after it. This 
seems to connect the three following names together in an intelligible manner, 
and to be the only thing which does so. The first name here, alas, gives the 
nature often of such hopes — 

Rabbith, a "great place." Emulation is that which the training in all our 
schools to-day deliberately fosters, as the spirit of success in life ; and it has how 
many religious forms ! It was the spirit which the desire to sit on Christ's right 
and left hand in His kingdom showed in the sons of Zebedee, as well as in the 
other disciples by their murmuring at it. The Lord rebukes it by appeal to His 

Ui JOSHUA. 19. 22, 23. 

border reached to Tabor, and Shahazum, and Beth-she- 
mesh ; and their border ended at the Jordan : sixteen 
cities and their villages. This was the inheritance of 

own chosen place among them, " come, not to be ministered uuto, but to minis- 
ter, aud to give His life a ransom for many." How little like the kingdoms of 
the Gentiles would be the kingdom of such a King ! 

And what must be the consequence of being permitted to realize these hopes 
of greatness ? This seems to be answered in the two names that follow : first — 

Kishiou, '"hardness," or perhaps preferably "hardening." For if self be in 
the desire, the "seeking our own things," which the apostle characterized as the 
condition general among the Christians at Rome when he wrote to the Philip- 
piaus, what will the attainment of the desire naturally do but give opportunity 
for the indulgence of self which this implies, and in result harden the heart by 
shutting it up in self-gratification? 

This is but the law of progress, and the stamp upon which the Spirit of God 
puts in the next name — 

Abez, which seems akin to hizzah, "mire," and to be illustrated in Habak- 
kuk's "Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his ! how long? and to 
him that ladeth himself with thick clay ! " A terrible weight upon himself may 
be thus accumulated by one who is yet Christ's, but who in the government of 
Grod must meet the consequences, though as a father's chastening, and for final 
blessing ! 

These three sections, while contemplating the earthly walk, keep the eye, 
however, fixed upon oneself; the fourth contemplates more the world through 
which the walk is, and this in perfect conformity with the number attached. 
Here we have, first — 

Remeth, "height," the possession given us in God's grace being above the 
world. It is as taken out of the world we are sent into it, and the first necessity 
is to maintain the possession. 

To be above the world is to be master over it; and the Lord has given us all 
this place, not of it, as He is not of it. We only need to fill that place — by faith 
to be living in it, and this will be " the victory that overcometh the world, even 
our faith." "If any man be in Christ, it is new creation : old things are passed 
away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor. v. 17.) This is the vantage- 
point for us. 

Eu-gannim, a "fountain of gardens," speaks of the Spirit's work in the world. 
A garden is a special inclosure, and implies the need of separation, protection, 
and a nurturing hand. The Spirit's work is thus to separate and nourish the 
people of God, as exotics in a strange country. The world around remains a 
wilderness. "A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse ; a spring shut up, a 
fountain sealed; ... a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams 
from Lebanon." (Song iv. 12, 15.) 

Thus we are above the world, but in it, and yet separated from it: — 

Eu-haddah, the "fountain of exhilaration, " makes ns contemplate the Spirit 
as filling the soul with its proper joy. "Be not drunk with wine, wherein ia 
excess, ' ' says the apostle, ' ' but be filled with the Spirit ' ' — wherein is no ex- 
cess. (Eph. V. 18.) How important is it to ask ourselves, what is it that I look 
to for recreation ? what is it that bubbles out of me when I am glad ? To pray 
when we are afflicted, that is well; but if we are merry, do we sing psalms? (Jas. 
V. 13.) Is Christ our Deliverer from sin and wrath, and .should He not be the 
the joy and brightness of our lives also — our very life? Certainly En-haddah is 
a most needed memorial to us, coming in the place it does ; and we do well to 
give the most attentive heed to it. 

Lastly, Beth-pazzez, the "house of disruption," reveals the world as the place 
of contradiction and of opposition, of the need of separation, and of the difficulty 
of the accomplishment of this ; of a scene where the precious needs to be taken 

19. 23-25. JOSHUA. 145 

« (24-31.) 

Asher : 

the happy. 

the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their 
families, the cities and their villages. 

(e) And the fifth lot came forth for the tribe of the chil- 
dren of "Asher according to their families. And their 


from the vile ; and where we ourselves have to experience the ruin which has 
come in, and opposition to Christ in our own homes and hearts. 

We have now evidently a new division of Issachar's cities, and though a very 
small, yet a most interesting one. The language shows the new beginning : — 

' 'And the border reached unto Tabor and Shahazum and Beth-shemesh. ' ' 

"Crucified to the world" is, after all, the salvation-side of the practical walk ; 
and that is what this second division emphasizes for us. The number is that of 
the cross, as we know. The names show us this as a practical reality wrought 
into the life. First — 

Tabor, "purpose," for, while we can promise nothing to God, "purpose of 
heart," such as Barnabas exhorted the saints to (Acts xi. 23), is most needful. 

Shahazum, not a plural form, as most take it, and meaning ' ' heights, ' ' but, as 
in Kethib, the written text of our Bibles, rather a compound word, and meaning 
"humbled with fasting." This is the practical carrying out of purpose, not so 
much in literal abstinence as in spiritual holding off" from what incites the fiesh. 
For the fiesh is the world's advocate, and here the victory is to be really got. 

The third name, Beth-shemesh, the "house of the sun," shows how little dark 
need be a life of this sort. Nay, we are children of the light and of the day, not 
of the night, nor of darkness : of a day, too, in which the sun never sets, and 
where the sky never need be clouded. A good name, this, with which to end 
the list of Issachar's cities. We have only, besides, that — 

' ' Their border ended at the Jordan ' ' : where, of course, the earth-walk must 
end; but this is a third division, because for death there is a resurrection; nay, 
there is a resurrection-life now, to which the end of earth is but the entrance into 

(e) The fifth lot falls to Asher, "the happy," — if the thought answer to the 
name, — a singular idea, it might seem, to have distinct representation thus among 
the tribes of Israel. So far, we have had no indication of any other; and a 
deeper consideration will make it apparent that it is of immense importance that 
the people of Grod should be known as a "happy" people. If "the joy of the 
Lord is your strength," then happiness must have for the soul a large spiritual 
value. As a testimony to God it must be of no less. One of the characteristics 
of the true "circumcision," as given by the apostle, is that they "rejoice in 
Christ Jesus ": and his exhortation to the same people is, " Rejoice in the Lord 
alway; and again I say. Rejoice." (Phil. iii. 3 ; iv. 4.) Such joy is one of the 
best signs that the knowledge of the gospel has reached the heart, and that the 
life will be governed by it. It is quite true that feelings may easily be put in a 
wrong place, as in the firet quest of peace they are almost sure to be. There is 
plenty of need for insisting on the truth that we are not justified by feeling but 
by faith. Nay, it is certain that the reception of the gospel with immediate joy 
is made by the Lord Himself a sign rather of stony-ground hearing than of a 
fruitful reception of the Word. (Matt. xiii. 20.) Plowing up must be before the 
seed can spring up aright ; repentance before God will accompany "faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ," where the latter is real and effective. This is all true ; yet, 
on the other hand, it is no less true that the effect of the gospel — the "glad tid- 
ings ' ' — is to produce gladness, and that the apostle prays for believers that ' ' the 
God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing." (Rom. xv. 13). The 
third character of the "kingdom of God" he gives, after "righteousness and 
peace," is "joy in the Holy Ghost " (ch. xiv. 17). "The fruit of the Spirit is " 
said to be "love, Joy, peace " (Gal. v. 22.) "And not only so, but we joy in 
God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the recon- 
ciliation." (Rom. V, 11.) 

146 JOSHUA. 19. 25, 26. 

territory was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Ach- 
shaph, and Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal ; and 

These passages, of course, define the happiness which they speak of, so that it 
is impossible to confound it with the mere play of animal spirits, or even the 
happiness derivable from the hope of salvation. One might have this last, and 
and yet in fact be unsaved. "Joy in God through Christ " is something perfectly 
distinct, and infinitely higher. As manifested in Asher, we shall find it carefully 
distinguished from everything that could be confounded vnth it, as well as in 
relation to other features of the divine life which find expression in these living 
pictures. Noticeable it is that Asher occupies the fifth place in this series, as in 
the wilderness he does in connection with Dan (Vol. I., pp. 384, 393, n). There 
the meaning cannot be mistaken that e.xercise of heart and couscieuce have essen- 
tially to do with the maintenance of a happiness worthy to be called that. Here 
we may well suppose the numerical place to repeat and emphasize the same 
thought. Asher's territory runs up to the extreme north, between Naphtali and 
the sea, connecting on the south with Zebulon and Manasseh. All its relations 
speak thus of trial, exercise, and practical life. If Judah keeps guard at one end 
of the land, Asher does at the other. The territory assigned it by God is a pro- 
portionately large one, but it fails, alas, to fill its limits. 

The boundary is described in three divisions of very unequal size. The first 
begins in the middle of its sea-board line, descends to below Carmel, and then 
turns eastward, and soon northeast and north, uutil it reaches its northernmost 
point at Zidon. The second division is along the sea, southward again, only as 
far as Tyre ; and the third runs down to where it began, somewhere in the neigh- 
borhood of Accho or Acre, although the names are little to be traced as yet, and 
Asher's -cities are almost altogether irrecoverable. The history of Asher corre- 
sponds with this but too well: Asher has no great names to memorialize what 
was once a large and important tribe. 

The first division of the boundary defines happiness in the various elements 
which make it up, or which it implies ; and the first part of this, which has 
seven names, more strictly still defines it in itself, as we shall see better when we 
examine them in detail. 

Helkath, "portion, share," is the first of these. Ealak, from which it is de- 
rived, means, according to Wilson, "to divide into parts, each receiving his por- 
tion; to part, distribute, especially by lot." It implies, therefore, that God has, 
in respect of happiness, given all His people their portion, each his own. He 
has shut none out. He has not made it difficult of attainment, the prize of great 
ability or great effort, either. Faith to receive, giving God credit for what He 
has done, for what He has said, for what He is, is all that is on our part needed. 

But though with Christ the secret of happiness is ours, and we have it freely, 
it has been wrought out for us with infinite pains and cost; and this is what — 

Hali assures us of It means "an ornament curiously wrought with great 
labor and pains" (Parkhurst), the verb from which it is derived meaning "to 
faint with labor, to labor even to faintness." He who wears such an ornament 
is seldom the one who fashioned it; and so with the jewel of which we speak, 
Christ has made it, at what personal cost and sacrifice, and made it ours forever: 
of this how natural and needful to be reminded here. So in the "wine that 
cheereth Gk)d and man," we find at His table the memorial of His precious blood. 

Beten, "belly," speaks of the inward realization. The craving of our souls 
has been met, — so met, that, out of that which by its imperious demands be- 
comes the "god" of other men (Phil. iii. 19), the refreshing streams pour out 
for the need of others. (John vii. 38.) Here we are reminded that happiness is 
■within, in the inmost parts, — no outside circumstances can produce it; and Christ 
must be for this received into the heart : we have but to drink, for the living 
water to flow out. It is not effort, but we must first ourselves be filled, that 

19. 26, 27. JOSHUA. 147 

it reached *Carmel westward, and Shihor-libnath, and a;:Ki.i8-i9. 
turned toward the sun-rising to Beth-dagon ; and it 

there may be a genuine overflow. Christ received into the heart, what can be 
wanting for abundant happiness ? The lack of it is surely proof that there is 
not heart for Him, or else not faith to entertain Him. 

Achshaph is a stranger name in this connection. We have had it before, at 
the beginning of the eleventh chapter, where the king of Achshaph is one of Ja- 
bin's confederates. There we understand it to mean "sorcery," the use of nat- 
ural things endued by magical formulae or prayers with supernatural powers, to 
enchant and captivate. In Israel's hands these cities lost their significance for 
evil ; of which we have had many an example. Thus we may apply the Ach- 
shaph here without real difficulty to the subject before us. Faith in the soul 
will indeed exert a transforming power upon the things around. When all that 
comes is seen in the light of Christ glorified and upon the Father's throne, it is 
of necessity transformed. ' 'All these things are against me, ' ' said Jacob of oldj 
but faith says "He maketh all things work together for good to them that love 
Him." That which may have been done by an enemy's hand becomes thus the 
fruit of unmistaking love. ' ' The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I 
not drink it?" was the Lord's own and unanswerable question with regard to 
what was the worst of all iniquity and the most mysterious of afflictions. The 
cross has lifted the veil of all other mysteries, and shown us everywhere One 
well-known Face. This is, according to the number here, our happiness as to 
the world through which we pass : it is in this way transformed by it. 

The last three of these seven names give us now in a clear and pronounced 
way the secret of this happiness : — first, 

Alammelech: "God is King." This is the Old Testament version of the apos- 
tle's "Rejoice in the Lord," where, of course, Christ is the Lord. But this is 
only a more pregnant and intelligible way of saying, " God is King. " Not only 
is Christ God, and upon the throne of Gk)d, but also Christ it is who has mani- 
fested God to us, and given Him in our hearts the glorious throne which now 
He has. He who knows Christ, with him is the "shout of a king " (Num. xxiii. 
21) ; and to know who fills the throne is happiness indeed. This brings with it 
also the spirit of obedience ; and such joy has in it stability and safety. God 
and man are at one indeed. 

Amad confirms this from the other side: it means "an eternal people." 
Brought to God, we are His forever : sin and all its effects are triumphed over, 
and Christ a man is the eternal link with men, a pledge never to be taken back, 
a bond never to be broken or unclasped. This is the necessary complement of 
Alammelech ; and yet there is for present happiness one thing more ; and this 
we find in — 

Misheal, "feeling after God," which gives us the energy of soul in one before 
whom God is, and whose heart is won by Him, who on this account, and realiz- 
ing his little knowledge, seeks for more ; yea, presses on after that being with 
Him " face to face " which is the unimaginable joy before us all. The Psalms are 
full of this longing after God, which in the epistle to the Philippians takes for 
the apostle the shape of seeking to "win Christ and be found in Him," that 
Christ whom he had seen in glory, and the vision of whom had stamped itself 
upon his soul, and henceforth led him, "doing one thing." This is the Ma- 
nasseh spirit, and Asher touches Manasseh very near to Misheal, — how near, no 
one can yet say. But who doubts the happiness of so great an arttraction in an 
object not uncertain of attainment, but most certain to be attained ? It is the 
happiness which is the power. 

The second portion of the main division gives us but three names, which all 
mark connection with Manasseh, whose border must be in contact with Aaher 
near this point, although we cannot trace it with any exactness. But the spir- 
itual meaning is in evident accordance with the trend of the boundary. Manas- 

148 JOSHUA. 19. 27. 

reached to Zebulon, and the valley of Jiphtah-el, north- 
ward of Beth-em ek and Neiel ; and it went out to Cabul 

seh is, of all the tribes, that which speaks most of progress, and the three aames 
here all imply this. 

"And it reached Carmel westward, and Shihor-libnath, and turned toward the 
sunrise to Beth-dagon." 

Carmel, "vineyard of God," suggests the thought of concentration, the very 
spirit of Manasseh, read in the light of the epistle to the Philippians. For a 
vineyard is, above all, that which exemplifies the need of pruning, and it is from 
a word of this meaning that that for vineyard here is derived. To have fruit 
such as is sought, a vine needs the knife to be applied unsparingly: "every 
branch in me that beareth not fruit " the husbandman " taketh away; and every 
branch that beareth fruit, he pruneth it, that it may bring forth more fruit:" 
the lesson of which is the need of concentration — of turning all our energies into 
that which has profit in it; spending none upon what is merely of no harm. Nor 
is this legalism or asceticism : it is, as we may learn from the connection here, 
what makes for happiness, as well as fruitfulness. " What can be more produc- 
tive of joy than the continual ijursuit of that in which Christ finds His own, and 
and in which we find fellowship with Him ? 

Shihor-libnath means " diligent search after purity, " — a thing not needless for 
those to be reminded of who are most diligently seeking fruit. Alas, there will 
not rarely be the danger of "doing evil," in some modified way, "that good 
may come"; and the over-anxiety about results may make one misjudge seri- 
ously what is the mind of God. God's seed may be a long time buried before it 
springs up, and the shallower sowing springs up all the quicker. Results will 
indeed speak truly at the end; but then there must be faith to leave things 
to the end : and for that the word of God must test all ways and methods, and 
guide us as to our course in the meantime. Here it is indeed true that "he that 
believeth shall not make haste." (Isa. xxviii. 16.) What life, with all the gloiy 
of it, must seem so vain as Christ's life ? The corn of wheat, according to His 
own saying, had to fall into the ground and die, that it might not abide alone. 
" Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have .spent my strength for nought, and 
in vain": — this would decide for many the failure of it; — "but surely," He 
adds, "my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. (Isa. 
xlix. 4.) 

And is not this the meaning of the third thing here, that the border from this 
point ' ' turns toward the sunrise, to Beth-dagon ' ' ? The sunrise is emphasized by 
the full expression for it being given, as is not generally the case ; and Beth- 
dagon, as we have already seen, speaks of abundant fruitfulness. But to realize 
this the day of account must be kept in view, that is, the sunrise, the day of 
Christ's appearing. And in this way the three names here are very complete in 

We now reach the boundary of Zebulon, and should be prepared to find that 
in this third stretch of the border of Asher the names speak of the "dwelling " 
with God and its results : — 

"And it reached Zebulon, and the valley of Jiphtah-el, northward at Beth- 
emek and Neiel." 

The theme of Zebulon we have become already acquainted with : it is plain 
that Asher must l)e closely connected with it. In God's presence is " fullness of 
joy." (Ps. xvi. 11.) To know it in whatever measure here must be the bright 
side of our life ; and Asher would be terribly incomplete without the names that 
follow. The valley of Jiphtah-el we have also had in connection with Zebulon ; 
and the breadth of its significance — " God openeth" — may well be taken in all 
its fullness. In God's presence His word is opened, and our understandings 
also, to understand the Word (Luke xxiv. 45); and who that is Christ's does not 
know the joy attendant upon this? The words following are remarkable and 
blessed in this connection: the boundary strikes the valley of Jiphtah-el at — 

19. 28, 29. JOSHUA. 149 

on the left, and Ebron, [Abdon ?] and Rehob, and Ham- 
mon, and Kanah, as far as great Zidon ; and the border 

Beth-emek, "the house of the depth" ; and " the things which God hath pre- 
pared for them that love Him, God hath revealed unto us," says the apostle, 
" by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 
(1 Cor. ii. 9, 10. ) What happiness to be made at home by the Spirit of God in 
the deep things of God! But we come also to infinities where man as man can- 
not go further. He cannot be God, or "as God." He must be limited by his 
finite nature, and thus — 

Neiel, "the shutting of God," in contrast with Jiphtah-el, His "opening," 
comes as a wholesome warning, to heed which is not without its importance to 
our happiness. Important it is also to get the right spiritual location of this 
Neiel, if its location on the map cannot be given. To know where we are free 
to inquire reverently, and where to recognize the limit which must belong to us, 
is a point of great and needed wisdom. But the whole range of what is revealed 
is ours: "Secret things belong unto Jehovah our God; but things which are 
revealed belong unto us." (Deut. xxix. 29.) To remain in uncertainty where 
God has really spoken is a shame and dishonor to the grace that has met us ; and 
the plea that we cannot know is but too often the vain plea of indiflference and 
spiritual sloth. Neiel is on the boundary of Asher; but we need to take the pains 
to locate it right. 

The fourth and concluding section of the main boundary carries us along the 
border of Naphtali, northward, as far as Zidon. Naphtali is not, however, men- 
tioned, and has not, spiritually, the nearness to Asher that Zebulon has. This 
is quite evident; and yet the presence of Naphtali on the northeast border has 
its significance. There are six names : — 

"And it went out to Cabul on the left hand, and Ebron [Abdon?] and Re- 
hob, and Hammon, and Kanah, as far as great Zidon." 

The border runs now to the left hand, that is, in a general northerly direction. 
The first place on the line is — 

Cabul, which, taken in connection with the gift of it to Hiram at a later day, 
is said to mean "given as a pledge [of friendship]," or, better, " in discharge of 
debt." We have not yet to consider the history, and Cabul itself means simply 
"bound. " It is a significant word at the beginning of the fourth section, which 
naturally speaks of the walk through the world, and the frank acceptance of it is 
of great moment in connection with the spiritual happiness which we have seen 
Asher to represent for us. The constraint of love and gratitude is a sweet yoke 
to bear ; and a life so inspired is of necessity a happy life. Christ died for us, 
"that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto 
Him that died for them, and rose again." (2 Cor. v. 15.) Thus is the misery of 
self-bondage broken, and the moral life set right. We are freest when the moral 
obligation is most felt; and the constraint of love is motive which ensures hap- 
piness. And thus the proposed reading of — 

Abdon for Ebron would seem to find strong support. Ebron, akin to Eber of 
the genealogy of Shem (Gen. xii.) and not to Hebron in Judah, means "passing 
over." Abdon means "bond-service." Twenty MSS. support the latter, which 
occurs also in chap. xxi. 30, and in 1 Chron. vi. 74, as one of the Levitical cities 
of Asher, Ebron occurring nowhere else. The difference between them is only 
that which our Lord calls a " tittle " (Mat. v. 18), a slight projection or shoulder 
which distinguishes the " d " in Hebrew from " r." The numerical place speaks 
strongly for Abdon, as is evident, as does the connection, so that we may provis- 
ionally at least accept it. Cabul is thus the recognition of the " bond" ; Abdon, 
the taking up of the ' ' service ' ' it implies ; while — 

Rehob, "breadth" or "broad way," shows how the soul of the enfranchised 
saint finds not straitness but largeness in the path with God: these three words 
fit well, therefore, together. 

150 JOSHUA. 19. 29. 

turned to Ramah, and as far as the fortified city ^Tyre ; 
and the border turned to Hosah, and ended at the sea, 

y 2 Sain. 5. 
11, 12. 

Hammon, "sunny," comes next, under the number of experience, in a simi- 
larly beautiful manner ; for, whatever the circumstances of the way, the sky 
ought always to be clear ; the heavens cannot fail as. 

Kanah, "He has purchased," is the explanation of the whole series here; and 
it comes under the number which speaks of responsibility, or of God with 
man; — 

Zidon, the end of this part of the line, adding to this the thought of "taking 
the prey, ' ' which is here, as its number indicates, victory over the power of evil. 
Thus the first division of the border ends. 

The second division must not be judged of as to its importance by its length. 
It has but two names ; but it is that which puts Christ before us in direct rela- 
tion to our happiness : — 

"And the border turned to Eamah, and to the fortified city Tyre." 

Ramah we have had already, though another city, and in Benjamin ; but we 
have only to transfer the meaning there to find how perfectly it suits in this case 
also. The meaning is "an elevated place," and points to the acceptance of 
Christ's work, and the exaltation of Him who had been in the place of humiliation 
for us. The only difterence is that instead of being as there the second city of a 
second group, it is the first city, but still of a second group. This first place 
speaks of supremacy (as I think), which is His there ; and thus indeed the hap- 
piness of one who realizes this is secured- It is exactly what the apostle ex- 
horts to, "Rejoice in the Lord.^' (Phil. iv. 1.) If He is supreme, surely our 
blessing is secure. Yet even this is expanded for us in the next name — 

Tyre, Avhich means " rock," and to which is added that it is a " fortified city." 
This, under the number of salvation, reminds us of how Scripture connects these 
thoughts together. A risen Christ is indeed the "Rock of our salvation," forti- 
fied against any possibility of successful attack. How important are these two 
names among the cities of Asher, and how sufiicient as thus joined together ! 

The third division, as naturally now, speaks of the Spirit and of the work in 
the soul: 

"And the border turned to Hosah; and it ended at the sea by the region of 
Achzib, and Ummah, and Aphek, and Rehob." 

Hosah means "trust," or "taking refuge," clearly corresponding to what was 
just now said of Christ as the rock of salvation. And we need to be reminded 
that while " He abideth faithful," faith, too, on our part must abide. We must 
avail ourselves of our privileges ; we must make that our own which is our own. 
How marvelous a thing thus is faith ! and what an enriching for the soul of the 
poor and empty one ! 

- The border now ends at the sea, in the region of Achzib, three names Ijeing 
added here, which are generally taken as from different points, and not belonging 
to the boundary at all. Aphek, we are told, is the modern Afka a good way to 
the north. On the other hand, Ummah is supposed to be the modern Alma, not 
very far from Achzib, and the names recur so frequently as to make their identi- 
fication often doubtful. It would be quite possible that, as with Zebulon, these 
three names should be added to the rest, to complete the number of Asher's 
cities, though there is against this that, after all, this list does not apparently 
complete them, as Accho (now Acre) properly belonged to Asher, as is plain from 
Jndg. i. 31, although, as with Zidon, Tyre, and other places allotted to them, 
they failed to get possession. After all, it seems that our appeal must be to the 
spiritual meaning, which certainly governs all, and that we are left free to accept 
what explanation of the facts may be thus afforded us. 

If the three cities are to be detached from what precedes them, they do not 
form part of the boundary at all, but must come in, like those of Zebulon, as a 
distinct fourth section. If they form part of the boundary, then they will belong 

19. 29-32. JOSHUA. 151 

/ (82-89.) 
Naphtall : 
the over- 

by the region of Achzib, and Uminah, and ' Aphek, and 
Rehob : twenty-two cities and their villages. This was 
the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher 
according to their families, these cities and their vil- 

(/) The sixth lot came forth for the children of 
"Naphtali, — for the children of Naphtali according to 

z 1 8am.4.1. 
1 Kl. 20.30. 

a Nam. 26. 

to the third; and their meaning will accord with this : they will speak of the 
work of the Spirit in some way. 

Now Achzib we have already seen to do this. Among the cities of the low 
coantry of Judah we found one of this name ; and read it as "a flow indeed," 
referring it to the Spirit of God, as the witness — coming in the second place — of 
Christ's ascension and glory. It comes exactly in the same place here, and must 
in consistency receive the same interpretation. 

Ummah means "union "; and "he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit." 
(1 Cor. vi. 17.) 

Then Aphek, which is Aphik in Judg. i. 31, though given as "strength" or 
"fortress," — there is a monotonous rendering of various names in this way — 
may rather mean ' ' channel " : it is the bed of a stream, whether full or empty. 

Rehob, again, we are acquainted with in Asher itself as "breadth," or "broad 
way. ' ' 

Now these names put together yield a very consistent sense : for thus it is, as 
united to Christ by the Spirit, we become channels for what the Lord Himself 
calls "rivers of living water. " (John vii. 38.) Surely this yields so simple and 
good a meaning that it will hardly be worth while to go further to find another. 
These names seem to justify their place very fully as part of the third division 
of the boundary, — aU four facing the sea, where it comes to an end. Have we 
not here full ability to face the sea of trial with the abundant happiness of which 
Asher speaks? "We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation 
worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope ; and hope mak- 
eth not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by His 
Spirit which He hath given us." Asher only goes beyond this to the outflow 
which the passage in Romans explains but does not openly point out. He ful- 
fills, then, his name all through : let us remember that it is ours also, and chal- 
lenge ourselves that we fulfill it ; for if we will, such is Grod's grace toward us, 
we surely may. 

The number of the cities, twenty-two, seems here to be too small. There 
seem twenty-three. Keil suggests, as the only possible explanation, that Neiel 
in the border may be the same as Neah in Zebulon, and belong to the latter. 
But may it not be possible that the two Rehobs are in fact the same ? The terri- 
tory of these cities seems to have been sometimes considerable, and the breadth 
of Asher's portion at this point quite contracted; while the four cities named 
together may not have been all exactly on the border, which was simply " by " 
that district. If this suggestion be true, the number twenty-two is exactly 

(/) Naphtali follows Asher in the sixth place: "with divine wrestlings" — 
wrestlings nerved by God? — says Rachel at his birth, "have I wrestled with my 
sister, and have prevailed." Hence his name, Naphtali, "my wrestling," 
which, in the sixth place here, speaks clearly of the over comer. Thus overcom- 
ing is the subject presented to us now. 

In the case of Naphtali, the boundary is distinguished from the cities of his 
possession. In the boundary we have, first, what overcoming is ; for to define is 
to bound, to limit. In the second division (the cities), we have presented the 
helps and hindrances to overcoming. 

The boundary is itself divided into two parts, which both end at Jordan. 
They divide the subject into two parts, the first reminding us of the steadfast- 

152 JOSHUA. 19. 32-34. 

their families. And their border was from Heleph, 
from * Allon-zaanannim, and Adami-nekeb, and Jabneel, b Jud. 4. ii. 
to Lakkum, and ended at the Jordan ; and the border 
turned west to Aznoth-tabor, and went out from thence 

ness which belongs to overcoming ; the second, of the progress which is impUed 
in it. "Steady progress," in a world like this, 7neans "overcoming." 

"And their border was from Heleph, from Allon-zaanannim and Adami-nekeb, 
and Jabniel, to Lakkum; and ended at the Jordan." This is the first half 

Heleph means "renewal," and this is the first element of steadfastness. In 
the strife from which Naphtali warns us we never can escape, the wear and tear 
incident to it makes it impossible to hold our own, except the constant waste is 
as constantly repaired. " The inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Cor. iv. 
16), says the apostle. This drawing from divine strength is necessarily the firet 

' ' From Allon-zaanannim, ' ' the ' ' oak of ladings, ' ' the place where loads are put 
upon the beasts: hence it means, also, "removals"; but the primary thought 
seems to be all that is needed here. We have a double picture : the oak, which 
is a type of strength, a strength sustained by just such a process of renewal as 
we have had already before us ; the loading of the beasts of burden, which day 
by day repeat their tasks and offer themselves to what is laid upon them. Just 
such daily loads, limited to our strength, and with intervals of relief, have we ; 
and to take up this daily duty, — drudgery as it may seem, and as the figure sug- 
gests, — is indeed an essential part of overcoming. In Christian life there are no 
drones, but all are workers, — no sinecures, but plenty everywhere to do. Ear- 
nest, serious application to duty is that which (in the apprehension of God's 
precious grace) already puts within our grasp the strength alone sufficing. No 
triflers can be overcomers, and daily duty is a daily discipline and training 
needed for the conflict that is the lot of us all. Here where the adjusted burden 
is taken up, the oaks of God are grown indeed. 

Adami-nekeb, "the stigma of man," is an accompaniment we shall not miss, 
if duty have for us the right Christian character. They were the ' ' marks of the 
Lord Jesus" that Paul bore in his body (Gal. vi. 17) from a world which had 
rejected Christ. Will any overcomer be without them ? Is it not part of the over- 
coming, in faith to accept our place and portion with Him here, who has given 
us these with Him in a place where His name has its rightful honor? Without 
Adami-nekeb there could surely be no prevailing Naphtali at all. 

Jabniel, "edification of God," then shows us the other side : in weakness we 
find how God can build up the soul ; for Jabniel comes under the number of 
weakness. God can surely not fail more than the world in showing His thoughts 
as to His beloved Son : while beyond the present trial and weakness faith sees 
the things that are invisible, and looks on — 

Lakkum, "to resurrection." "We having the same spirit of faith, according 
as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken ; we also believe, and 
therefore speak ; knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise 
up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." (2 Cor. iv. 13, 14.) The 
briefest reference to the place of this quotation will show how perfectly the 
names before us keep in the track of the apostle there. Tlie spirit of the over- 
comer is very clearly, if briefly, expressed. The fifth number here is that which 
speaks of recompense, while under the sixth the border ends at Jordan, death 
being the limit of the struggle Naphtali pictures, and already triumphed over by 
divine grace. 

We have now the second and concluding portion: — 

"And the border turned westward unto Aznoth-tabor, and went out from 
thence unto Hukkok; and reached unto Zebulon on the south, and reached Asher 
on the west, and Judah of Jordan toward the sunrising." 

Aznoth-tabor means "ears of purpose," — hearing that has purpose in it: if 

19. 34, 35. JOSHUA. 153 

to Hukkok, and reached to Zebulon on the south, and 
reached to Asher on the west, and to Judah upon Jor- 
dan toward the sunrising. And the fortified cities were 
Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Bakkath, and Chinnereth, 

Job coald speak of "making covenant with his eyes " (chap, xxxi.l), a covenant 
with the ears is no less to be desired. " Take heed what ye hear," and "take 
heed h<no ye hear," are both exhortations from the Lord Himself. (Mark iv. 24; 
Luke viii. 18. ) We are not to be open to all influences, but to be like sensitive 
plants, recoiling from the contact with evil. An un walled town is easy of occu- 
pation, and a continued exposure to pestilence saps the power of resistance. The 
company we choose assimilates us to itself, and we are in a world where the 
"prince of the power of the air " is he who " worketh in the children of disobe- 
dience." (Eph. ii. 2). How necessary, then, to be at all times, and in aU points, 
controlled by purpose ! And this surely leads to — 

Hukkok, a " well defined" path, clear cut and straight, to the point it aims 
at. "I have set the Lord always before me," is that which secures it from devi- 
ation and inconsistency. This path connects with Zebulon, "consecration," 
leads to Asher, "happiness," and finds Judah, "praise," at Jordan, — traveling 
with the dawn in view, " toward the sunrise." The uncertainty as to this Ju- 
dah, which perplexes commentators, is, for our purpose, quite unnecessary to be 
removed, and has no practical existence as a difficulty : the moral lesson is the 
same. Good progress is there all along this boundary, and triumph all the way. 

We now come to the cities, nineteen as they are numbered, sixteen in fact, 
except some of those upon the boundary are to be reckoned in. The sharp divis- 
ion between the two is against this, as the opposite of this, in the case of Zebu- 
lon, tells the other way for it. I know no way to settle this difficulty, the manu- 
scripts and versions being in agreement here. The names seem to speak with 
less than their usual decisiveness, and it would be easy to imagine the addition 
of others in certain places without disordering the arrangement of those that we 
find. Yet it is hard to believe in an absolute loss of this kind, and more reason- 
able to suppose that the number should be changed. 

The cities speak, as already said, of the helps and hindrances to overcoming ; 
yet it is a happy thing to know that hindrances of an external kind may become 
even helps where there is decision of soul in meeting them. Every difficulty 
overcome gives fresh assurance for the future, and the wisdom and strength that 
grow out of experience. The hardiness of the mountaineer has its spiritual 

The absence of the conjunction, as in other cases, suggests four smaller divis- 
ions, one of which again, by its number (ten), would imply another. The mean- 
ing of ten undoubtedly implies its factors to be five and two ; but that it does 
not follow that it must be so divided is evident by the division of the ten com- 
mandments into 4 and 6. We take it here, however, as 5 -f 5 ; and the names 
will stand, therefore, thus : — 

1. Ziddim. 

2. Zer and Hammath. 

' 1. Kakkath, 1. Kedesh, 

2. Chinnereth, 2. Edrei, 

5. Adamah, 3. En-hazor, 
4. Ramah, 4- Iron, 

6. Hazor ; 5. Migdal-el. 
4. Horem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh. 

Ziddim stands by itself at the head of the list, and means " lying in wait." 
It might well be the fourth in a series, and allow the three names which may be 
missing to come before it. As a first, it is indeed hard to characterize it, though, 
as "the wiles of the devil " are what the apostle bids us "stand against " (Eph. 
vi.), and for which he would have us "put on the whole armor of God," we 

154 JOSHUA. 19. 36-38. 

and Adamah, and Eamah, and 'Hazor, and Kedesh, 
and Edrei, and En-hazor, and Iron, and Migdal-el, Ho- 

c ch. 11. 1, 
10, 11. 
Jud. 4. 2. 

might say that "lying in wait " is the governing thought in that which follows 
here. It would naturally be a prominent one, inasmuch as Satan is the great 
adversary, and he always prefers to fight under cover. Deceit and sudden sur- 
prises are his tactics : and by these he gains but too fretjuent advantage. 

Zer and Hammath come together in the next place, and are in some respects 
contrasts. Zer means "strait," "adversity"; Hammath, "heat of the sun," 
prosperity : both seem, as we can easily understand, adverse really; and the lat- 
ter often more so than the former : the sun may smite. 

The third section is one more difficult to read : it is divided into two parts, 
and speaks, as it seems to me, of reaJization. Conflict is that by which many 
truths, perhaps hard for us to learn in the same degree apart from it, are im- 
pressed upon us. The two parts here give us, first, realizations as to ourselves 
with reference to God as Creator; second, with reference to God as Samour. 
These are plainly the two great spheres of relationship. Both series are stamped 
with the number five, which is that of relationship between God and man. 

First of the first five, Rakkath, "emptiness," "vanity." It is the funda- 
mental lesson of all as to man. 

Next, Chinnereth, which means " harp," suggests the music of which he may 
be the instrument, under the divine hand. The harp was used in Israel as the 
expression of joy and praise, not of lamentation ; and this it is for which God 
made man. Among the Greeks, however, the same word essentially seems to 
have been used for "lamentation"; and man, yielding himself to other hands 
than the divine, has fulfilled abundantly this character. The number here may 
emphasize this contrast, simple to us indeed, and yet transcendautly important. 
Feeble as man is. He who chooseth the weak things of the world to glorify Him- 
self with, will be at no loss to know how to make him a witness to Himself. 

In the third place, Adamah, "ground, " carries on the thought. Man is Adam, 
from adamah, "dust from the ground ;" and in it every element of all flesh (as 
that) is found. God has to add to it a higher principle to make it such, and lift 
it thereby into a higher sphere. Instead of mere chemistry, it is now permeated 
by vitality, and displays powers wholly foreign to it before. Thus, as in man 
Gk)d has taken up the dust of the earth to raise it above itself and lift it into 
another sphere, so with man himself, what he is in the old creation is but the 
shadow of what he shall be in the new creation. The dust of the ground is, as 
exalted in man, a type and prophecy of man himself 

Eamah, an " elevated place," under the number of " weakness, " which governs 
it (as the numbers govern throughout what they are connected with), gives us, as 
we might suppose, a very diflerent line of thought. Here the elevation of what 
still retains the frailty of its origin, sufficiently points the lesson. " Man being 
in honor, abideth not : he is like the Ijeasts that perish," says the psalmist. 
(Ps. xlix.) God uses this exaltation to point the lesson, uses it to abase pride ; 
not for destruction, but that the creature may learn what is so needful for him. 
Let him accept it only, and he shall find strength: "to them that have no 
might He increaseth strength." 

Thus Hazor, a familiar word to us, " inclosure," comes in the fifth place, where 
we find man with God once more. The arms of Grod are about this feeble creat- 
ure. There is providential care, the "hedge" about Job, of which Satan so 
complains, — of which Eden itself was the type at first, and of which the memory 
survives as a witness to us, a witness for One who abides the same, however 
much His creature may have wandered from Him. Hazor is indeed not Eden, 
and yet God is none the less near ; and here the first pentad ends, the second 
coming to re-enforce the teaching of creation with the teaching of redemption, 
that Gk)d may be fully known. 

First of the second five, we have Kedesh, "sanctuary." At the southern 

a (40:-48.) 

Dan the 

" perfect 


d Num. 28. 

19. 38-41. JOSHUA. 155 

rem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh : nineteen cit- 
ies and their villages. This was the inheritance of the 
tribe of the children of Naphtali, according to their 
families, these cities and their villages. 

(g) The seventh lot came forth for the tribe of the 
children of '' Dan according to their families. And the 

border of Israel we had Kadesh-barnea, the "sanctuary of the wanderer " ; here 
we have Kedesh-uaphtali, the "sanctuary of the struggle)-.^' It is akiu, evi- 
dently, to Hazor, which we have just had, and in this redemption series implies 
the rest with which here we begin. Here are enfolding arms that wrap us 
round, dearer than all providences, however wonderful; and which are a "sanc- 
tuary, ' ' — holy, and constraining to holiness. 

Where our refuge is, there is also, as we know so well, entertainment : Edrei, 
"plenty of pasture," follows Kedesh, and we are at once reminded of a Shep- 
herd's care. Then we have — 

En-hazor, the "spring of inclosure," which in the third place we can have no 
difficulty in recognizing. Our pastures know no drought; our inclosure has, be- 
yond Eden, its plenteous streams. 

In the fourth place, Iron, "fearing," speaks of that which grace, beyond na- 
ture or the terrors of law, awakens in the creature brought thus nigh to God. 
How can it be otherwise ? But this does not put at a distance, or make us desire 
distance : it is simply the creature conscious of creaturehood, as where else 
should it be so conscious ? and which is its safeguard. "The fear of the Lord is 
the beginning of wisdom " : for God is kept in His place, and man in his ; and 
this is the simple key to true understanding. 

In the fiilh place, then, we have Migdal-el, "a tower of strength," where El, 
"strength," is also "God": for, indeed, is there any strength apart from Him? 
Thus the second series, and the third division of Naphtali's cities, end. 

The fourth division has but three names, and these speak, as commonly with 
the number, of practical walk. Here, first, as implying whole-heartedness, Ho- 
rem, akin to Hormah, means "devoting to God," and that in general of what 
could only glorify Him in its destruction. The idols of the land were thus to be 
unsparingly destroyed by Israel ; and there are idols of the heart as evil in God's 
sight which a true-hearted following of Him will doom no less. The names that 
follow are read without difficulty, as divine approval of this fidelity to Him : — 

Beth-anath, the " house of response, " and — 

Beth-shemesh, the "house of the sun": neither of them needing interpreta- 
tion, surely. Here Naphtali's cities end. 

{g) Now, seventh and last of these tribes (for Levi comes apart, and is not 
numbered with them), Dan comes, in his own history almost entirely in contrast 
with what he stands for here. He stands for the spirit of rule, — of judgment in 
this sense, — which must necessarily begin with se/f-rule, self-judgment. His 
history, even as he appeai-s in Samson in the next book, is but the expression of 
the utter want of it. But it is not the history with which we have now to do. 
We have now God's ideal; the departure from it will be told out in its own 

Dan's original portion is in the south part of the land, upon the sea-coast, be- 
tween Ephraim aud Judah, some of whose cities come into his possession, and 
with both of whom he is spiritually connected, as we have already seen. On 
the east his border is on Benjamin ; and the meaning underlies and interprets, 
as elsewhere, the physical fact. All this has been already briefly shown, and 
there is nothing that invites repetition in this place. The boundary is not given 
again, but only the cities : not, therefore, the definition of what he represents, 
but the contents, the range of the "judgment" of which he speaks ; and this is 
broken into two parts, entirely separate, and unequal. For Dan, incompetent 
to take possession of much of his original allotment, lays hold of Leshem, or 

__ _ 

156 JOSHUA. 19. 41, 42. 

territory of their inheritance was * Zoreah, and Eshtaol, 
and Ir-shemesh, and Shaalabbin, [Shaalbim] and ^Aja- 

e Jud. 13.25. 

Jud. 16. 31. 
/ch. 10. 12. 

1 Sa. 14. 31. 

Laisb, in the north, and to it the name of the tribe (or of the father of the tribe) 
is given. Leshem becomes Dan, and the whole tribe seems identified with this 
its northern seat, and to put on the northern character. (See Vol. I. , pp. 384, 392, 
n.) But this again is history ; though here also we find Dan coming after the 
other northern tribes, as Asher and Naphtali. 

Dan comes in the seventh place, as implying spiritual perfection. For the 
service of rule there must be self-government, and of him who oflfends not in 
word James says, " the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole 
body." (Chap. iii. 2.) Self-government implies the application of truth to the 
whole man ; and thus we see why Dan follows Naphtali. No wonder, too, that 
the history should so little rise to the ideal, and that even comparatively the fail- 
ure here should be so great. Not that there is any excuse to be found in this : 
for the power that man has not is to be found with God. 

The cities of Dan's original allotment illustrate ' ' self-government. ' ' They are 
not divided for us by any indication in the text, but are eighteen in number, 
which would easily divide as three equal series of six each, the number of ' ' mas- 
tery " being thus upon the whole : and this is in perfect keeping with the spir- 
itual meaning. For self-government, self-knowledge is a first necessity, knowl- 
edge of ourselves being also the knowledge of man everywhere, of the world to 
which naturally we belong. Thus the first section gives the moral identification 
of the world in the Ifght of God, the truth convicting and giving power over it. 
Here, first, we find the names of two of Judah's cities already known to us, 
although in revei-se order to that in which they appear there ; in both places, of 
course, exactly right. 

First, Zoreah (which in the common version is given also as Zorah and Zare- 
ah), the Hebrew word for "hornet," named from its virulent "stroke," and 
almost identical with that for leprosy, speaks with sufficient plainness of where 
all self-knowledge must begin, that plague which is "deeper than the skin," 
more inveterate and wide-reaching than poison in the blood — the sin that is 
inbred within us, as leprosy often is. 

The second, Eshtaol, "strong woman," comes as the reminder of this. The 
number is that of succession and dependence (vol. i., p. 321, «), and Eve, in her 
assertion of strength for independence, shows herself, clearly enough, the mother 
of us all. The Nazarite character in which the man is taught to assume the long 
h^r of woman, is the spiritual judgment of this sin ; and Samson, the Danite 
judge of Israel, is a Nazarite. 

But the world goes on merrily enough, heedless as it is helpless really : Ir-she- 
mesh, " the city of the sun," shows it to us in its own way of recovery from the 
fall. Ir gets its name, according to Parkhurst, from the stir and bustle of the 
city, which the sun produces, and which dies, too, with the sun. So the world 
maintains itself with natural things, the goods of the Father's house, not caring 
that it is far from Him, or indeed glad to be that, and seeking to banish the 
thought of the night that must be. Poor "city of the sun " ! how well the term 
characterizes it, in its brightness and its brevity, its ephemeral glitter, ignorant 
and careless of another brighter and eternal glory ! One of the phrases of Eccle- 
siastes, the world's photograph, is a key to the language here — "wwrfer the sun ".' 

Shaalabbin, or Shaalbim, — "the MSS.," says Groves, "preponderate in favor 
of Shaalbim, in which form it is found in two other passages " (Judg. i. ,35; 
1 Ki. iv. 9), — gives us, under the number of testimony, the truth about it — " Ao^ 
low-hearted.''^ How willingly men are hypocrites in this respect, while they de- 
ceive no one, and least of all themselves ! 

Ajalon, in the fifth place, speaks of relationship to God, responsibility and 
recompense ; and here the "hart " can only be the figure of timidity and appre- 
hensiveness. That it is used in a good application elsewhere does not in the 

19. 42-25. JOSHUA. 157 

Ion, and Jethlah, and Elon, and Timnathah, and «' Ek- 
ron, and Eltekeh, and *Gibbethon, and Baalath, and 

fir 1 Sa. 5. 10. 
h 1 Ki.15.27. 

least prohibit, in a series like the present, one of a diflferent character. This 
opposite use of the same figure is common enough in Scripture. 

Jethlah, "he hangs," concludes as with a crj' of pain this first series. It is 
the spiritual conclusion, for faith characterizing the world, and sealing man's 
condemnation. ' ' He that hangeth upon a tree is accursed of God ' ' ; and the 
cross of Christ, while faith sees in it the curee taken and removed, shows fully 
what man is under, what he who believeth not the Son abideth under. Yet it 
is faith's victory over the world, and may well occupy therefore the place it 
does : ' ' God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Gal. 
vi. 14.) 

Thus the first series ends, the second coming now in contrast with it, a con- 
trast to which the last name naturally leads the way. But the last name on this 
series is also characteristic, as it is that to which the preceding ones work on. 
Here Baalath, "mistress," is near indeed to "mastery." It is the competency 
given by redemption for self-government that is the subject of this series. The 
first name here, — 

Elon , a name of the oak, or one of the oaks, of Palestine, signifies the ' ' strong. ' ' 
The oak is everywhere a familiar type of strength. It is so near, also, to one of 
the names of God (El), as to suggest clearly where alone strength is found, as 
the number under which it appears also is that of supremacy, and which speaks 
in an eminent way of Him. To Him all power belongs, and the secret of having 
it is simply in the faith that lays hold of Him for it ; and finds from Him — 

Timnathah, "her measured portion." This does not imply, of course, any 
scant measure, but the reverse. He measures who knows absolutely our need, 
and who has full resources as well as love wherewith to meet it. This, then, is 
complete assurance that there shall be no lack. For our appointed path there 
can be none ; and faith finds its portion along with all needful discipline, and 
not without difficulties which cast us continually on Himself, and make Him 
ever more known, ever dearer. How different from the independence of the 
world ! 

As to sin in us, the power of it is only thus met, and — 

Ekron, "eradication," in the sense in which we have considered it before 
(page 92), becomes a possibility. Sin is judged, not allowed, does not over- 
power us. This is self-judgment, self-government, in practical attainment, and 
the name is central among Dan's cities : it is the heart of what they speak of. 
Its number in the smaller series is that of ' ' realization. ' ' 

Eltekeh, "God the object of fear," in the fourth place, that of the creature, 
shows the proper attitude of such toward the Creator, which the knowledge of 
grace confirms, not sets aside. "There is forgiveness with Thee," says the 
psalmist, "that thou mayest be feared." (Ps. cxxx. 4.) Such fear is the invari- 
able accompaniment of nearness to God : he that knows it not has not been near 

Gibbethon, "height," stands in the fifth place, where relation to God is ex- 
pressed. The place that He has given us in Christ makes no interpretation 
needed. Lastly — 

Baalath, "mistress," ends the series in perfect harmony with its character, 
and the sixth place, in which we find it. 

The third series shows us the fruit which is the outcome of this ; and here now 
the first word is — 

Jehud, "praise." There is no possibility of power without this, as we have 
abundantly seen from Jacob's prophecy as to his fourth son onwards. And it is 
well to remember that in this word "confession " is the form it takes. Confes- 
sion of what He is is His sufficient praise. With praise in the heart comes ac- 
tivity, of which — 

158 JOSHUA. 19. 45-47. 

Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon, and Mejar- 
kon, and Rakkon, with the border opposite ' Japho. 

And the territory of the children of Dan extended 
beyond these. And the children of Dan went up 

i 2 Chron. 
2. 16. 
Ezr. 3. 7. 
Jon. 1.8. 
Acts 9. 86. 

Bene-berak, "sons of lightning," naturally speaks : no half-hearted or hesi- 
tating service, surely; but prompt, energetic, decisive. No dvill moderation of 
speech is sufficient to express the enthusiastic devotedness which becomes the 
servants of the Most High God, and the followers of Him who was the perfect 
Servant. Men may think such speech as this extravagant; but it is not so : 
"a son of lightning" means, in the language of a Hebrew, one taught of this to 
do the will of Grod as the elements of Nature do it, which curb and humble the 
pride of man with the assurance of what is high above it : "who hath resisted 
His will?" 

In the third place we have — 

Gath-rimmon, "the mne-press of the pomegranate," a figure not difficult to 
understand. If the pomegranate speak of the gospel of God, the %cine of the 
pomegranate is the reviving power of the Word, its sweet, refreshiug, stimulat- 
ing influence, in which, however, there is no excess. The soul of the believer, 
is it not just that which by meditation and communion with God becomes the 
wine-press of His Word ? And Dan in his ' ' rule, ' ' whether of himself or others, 
needs ever this Word to be in him in its strength. Without it there can be no 
ability to serve aright, with promptitude and decision such as the last word 

Hence now, too, and in this way only, can we reach — 

Mejarkon, or Mei-hajarkon, "waters of greenness, verdure," not waters them- 
selves green, as the commentators mostly suppose, but which sustain greenness. 
Thus the connection with what has gone before is plain, while the figure of 
necessity changes. The connection is much as between the Lord's words to the 
woman of Sychar, and those to the people at the feast of tabernacles. To the 
one he speaks of " living water springing up" within the believer; to the others 
of ' ' rivere of living water ' ' flowing forth out of the belly — the inward parts. 
(John iv. 14 ; vii. 38. ) The last is blessing for others, which naturally follows 
blessing for one's self Here, too, Dan's service of rule is in as manifest rela- 
tionship as the waters at Beer with the "ruler's staff" with which they were 
.digged. (Num. xxi. 18.) 

What follows is more difficult. The next word, " Eakkon," or, more exactly, 
Ha- Rakkon, has been supposed by Grove (in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible) to 
be a mere error, inexactly repeating the previous Ha-jarkon. The Septuagint 
omits it, but is itself so inexact in all this part as to lie of no real authority if 
taken alone. Then the change of language "with the border opposite Japho": 
does this stand in a sixth, or as part of the fifth division? Does it mean that 
Dan's border ends opposite Japho (Joppa), or does " border " stand as soraetimea 
for ' ' region " or " territory ' ' ? 

The last question seems as if it must be answered affirmatively, since there 13 
no mention of a border elsewhere in Dan, and the end of a border has through 
all this part one form of expression, literally the "going out"; the spiritual 
interpretation also confirms the meaning of " territory," or "region." 

Next Japho means, as I take it, "what is fair (beautiful) to Him," and would 
naturally come into a fifth place, not a fourth or sixth; while the clause in which 
it is found is surely a dependent, not an independent, one. Thus Rakkon would 
be required before it, and the omission in the Septuagint be an error, not an 
emendation. Thus, although there are still six names in this third section of 
Dan's cities, there are but five divisions. 

Putting these names together, now, we shall find in them a contrast which is 
in perfect harmony. Rakkon means "leanne&s," and the sentence would read 
as leanness, along with that which is before (or has respect to) what is fair to 

19. 47-51. 


h (49-51.) 
Joshua : 



j Jud. 18. 29. 

* cf. Kph. 

against ^"Leshem, and fought against it, and took it, and 
smote it with the edge of the sword, and took posses- 
sion of it, and dwelt in it, and called Leshem Dan, after 
the name of Dan their father. This was the inherit- 
ance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to 
their families, these cities and their villages. 

(Ji) And they ended dividing the land for inheritance 
according to its borders. And the children of Israel 
gave to * Joshua the son of Nun an inheritance among 
them : according to the word of Jehovah they gave him 
the city that he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill-coun- 
try of Ephraim ; and he built the city and dwelt in it. 

These were the inheritances that Eleazar the priest 
and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chief fathers of the 

Him." That is, the soul, while conscious of its nothingness, seeks that which 
is pleasing iu the sight of God. 

These are the cities of Dan's original portion. Beyond these, however, they 
had another territory, which, iu fact, their own inability to lay hold of what 
God had given them, compelled them to seek. The failure is, however, not 
related here, but in the book of Judges. Here we have only the fact of the con- 
quest of Leshem (in Judges called Laish) in the north of the land. They call it 
Dau, as if in it, iu some way more than elsewhere, the character of the tribe 
was expressed ; and from its possession here, we find it, in fact, put along with 
the northern tribes in this enumeration. 

But of what does this solitary city in the north speak? There is but one 
name, in fact, to add anything to Avhat we have had before, and that name is 
one which is displaced and passes away before the later one with which we are 
familiar. Dan, as the name of true rule, is "judgment"; and this is but "dis- 
cernment, ' ' the realizing of the nature of things and pronouncing accordingly. 
What, then, is the Canaanite city which passes away before it? It is Leshem, 
"glitter," the vain show of ambitious authority with which self-seeking man is 
charmed, the tinsel of greatness, which the glory of Christ has shamed forever 
for him who knows it. " The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; 
and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors; but ye shall 
not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he 
that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater he that sitteth at 
meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you 
as he that serveth." (Luke xxii. 25-27.) 

True rule is ever service, putting things in their place and giving them their 
proper meaning : the rod is the shepherd's rod, guided by love and beneficent; 
for which there must be reality — things taken for what they are. But this rule 
cannot be under the Zidonians, the takers of prey; the true Dan, the Judge of 
men, must come, and the world fall under Him, up to the last careless and 
secure as with the Canaanites in this case. " The day of the Lord shall come as 
a thief in the night." "As in the days that were before the flood they were 
eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe 
entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all 
away, so shall the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. xxiv. 38, 39.) Judg- 
ment thus must clear the scene, that true rule may be established: in Christ 
alone will it be seen in its perfection. 

{h.) The assignment of an inheritance to Joshua closes the history of these 
apportionments. The word of Jehovah assigns to him the city that he asks, 
namely, Timnath-serah, in the hill-country of Ephraim. Timnath-serah means 
simply "an abundant portion." Who can say what Christ's portion is now 
— for of this the division at this time speaks, — as "anointed with the oil of 



19. 51-20. 7. 

a (XX.) The 
cities of 
refuge : 
grace pre- 

tribes of the children of Israel, divided by lot in Shiloh 
before Jehovah, at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 
And they ended the apportionment of the land. 

(XX., XXI.) 

6. (a) And Jehovah spake unto Joshua, saying, Speak 
unto the children of Israel, saying. Assign you the 'cit- 
ies of refuge of which I spake unto you by the hand of 
Moses, that the slayer may flee thither who smiteth a 
person mortally without intent, unwittingly ; and they 
shall be a refuge for you fi'om the avenger of blogd. 
And he shall flee unto one of these cities, and stand at 
the entrance of the gate of the city, and declare his 
cause in the ears of the elders of that city ; and they 
shall take him unto them into the city, and give him a 
place to dwell among them. And if the avenger of 
blood pursue after him, they shall not deliver the slayer 
up into his hand : because he smote his neighbor unwit- 
tingly, and hated him not previously. And he shall 
dwell in that city, having stood before the assembly for 
judgment, until the death of the high-priest that may 
be at that time : then shall the slayer return, and come 
unto his own city, and to his house, — to the city whence 
he had fled. 

And they sanctified "Kedesh in Galilee, in the hill- 

l Ex. 21. 13. 
Nu. 35. 11. 
De. 19.2.9. 
cf. Heb. 6. 

m Jud. 4. 6. 

gladness above" his "fellows?" That of Joshua is spoken of as but a barren 
inheritance; but how could anything te added to Him to whom already all 
things belong ? It is satisfaction given to His heart that alone could recompense 
Him ; and this He has, though as yet but the earnest of that which will be. 

Yet the victory on His part is gained once for all ; and He has entered into 
heaven itself, our Representative and Forerunner. This is the beginning of that 
which abides eternally; and this the number of the section marks. 

( vi. ) The ordinance of the cities of refuge, and the assignment of the Levitical 
cities evidently belong to one section. The cities of refuge formed a part of 
those given to the Levites, and were connected, as much in spiritual meaning as 
they were in fact, with Levite ministry. In both we find a pro^ision for the 
control of sin: the Levitical cities thus scattered through the land being like a 
garrison of the Lord to maintain the people in the knowledge and fear of Him. 

{a) There are, however, thus two quite distinct parts: the ordinance of the 
cities of refuge, and how it was carried out, being the first part; the assignment 
of the Levitical cities coming in the second. The order here is not hard to read, 
the cities of refuge being indeed the expression of the grace of God to Israel 
themselves, as we have seen, while applying to us also; the Levitical cities being 
for the maintenance of ministry, which would have been their salvation as a 
nation, had they hearkened to it, and had not the ministry itself betrayed its 

The law of Numbers xxxv. is with more brevity i-epeated here. We must 
refer to the notes upon the previous passage for the spiritual application. We 
have then the cities appointed in Canaan, with the enumeration of those beyond 
Jordan also, which have been already before us (see the notes on Dent. iv. 41-43). 
Comparing them together, we shall find, in the first series, the divine side of sal- 
vation, the display of God in it; in the second series, the human side, the salva- 
tion itself. Of the three Canaan cities we have — 

First, "Kedesh in Galilee, in the hill-country of Naphtali." Galilee means 
"circle," or "circuit," — reminding us of Eglon, and of Gilgal, to both of which 

20. 7 21. 1. 




tion of the 



country of Naphtali, and " Shechem in the hill-country 
of Ephraim, and Kirjath-Arba, that is, "Hebron, in the 
hill-country of Judah. And beyond the Jordan of Jeri- 
cho, toward the [sun]rise, they assigned ^Bezer in the 
wilderness, in the tableland, out of the tribe of Reuben, 
and « Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and 
"■ Golan in Bashan of the tribe of Manasseh. These were 
the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and 
for the stranger that sojourn eth among them, that he 
who smiteth any one mortally without intent might flee 
thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood 
until he stood before the assembly. 

(6) And the heads of the fathers of the Levites drew 
near unto Eleazar the priest and unto Joshua the son 
of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes 

n Gen.33.18. 
ch. 24. 1. 
Jud. 9. 1, 

1 Ki. 12. 1. 
Ps. 60. 6. 

o Gen. 13.18. 
Nu. 13. 22. 

2 Sam. 2. 

p De. 4. 43. 

q 1 Kings 
22. 3, 4, 6. 
2 Kings 9. 
1, 4, 14. 

r Deu. 4. 43. 

it is near akin. The wheel of God's government, as we have seen in the case of 
Eglon (page 62), is for the abasement of man, writing vanity upon him, but 
for his ultimate blessing when he accepts what is the stamp upon and judgment 
of his sin. Thus Galilee speaks of God's ways with man to bring him to repent- 
ance; and Kedesh-Naphtali, the "sanctuary of the struggler, " as found in Galilee, 
shows how God has met the restlessness of heart which He Himself has awakened, 
with a refuge and rest in which man is still and forever abased, and He is glori- 
fied. The prodigal's return to his Father is the fruit of a coming to himself, 
which the exhaustion of his own resources, the famine in the far-oflf land, the 
misery of hunger sought to be satisfied with swine's food, have all combined to 
bring about. But in these things also the Shepherd has been already seeking 
the sheep, and the Father devising means whereby His banished may be re- 
stored to Him. Man is blessed, but blessed in being humbled; and God's right- 
eousness is owned in man's confession of unrighteousness. 

The second city is "Shechem, in the hill-country of Ephraim." Here the 
names are simple enough, and have been again and again before us. Shechem 
is "shoulder," that which bears the burden, and is the easily read type of 
"service." On each side of it stood mounts Ebal and Gerizim, whence the 
curses and blessings of the law were published after Israel entered into the land. 
Here, therefore, the city of refuge speaks of Christ as the servant of God and 
doing His will, hearkening to the voice of the law, and even (though Himself 
perfect) to the curses for the breach of it: magnifying and making it honorable 
by His submission to a penalty which others had incurred. Thus again God 
was glorified in the cross, and the divine side of His work appears. 

Thirdly, " Kirjath-arba, that is, Hebron in the hill-country of Judah," pre- 
sents "communion" to us in a new and striking form. It is in this aspect, and 
in the third place among these cities, Christ, aa the One in whom "all the full- 
ness of the Godhead dwelt bodily," and in whom thus 
" All the mind in heaven is one," 
as we see it in the three parables of the fifteenth of Luke. That Kirjath-arba, 
the Anakite name of the city before Israel had it, and named from their great 
man Arba, should be still mentioned here, may be intended to point the contrast 
with this other Man, whose flesh was the tabernacle of Deity. 

The second series of refuge-cities on the other side of Jordan plainly insist, as 
has been already said, upon the salvation side of the same story. The meanings 
will be found elsewhere. (Vol. I., p. 540-541, n.) 

(6) The Levitical cities are next assigned by lot, as the Lord had commanded. 
We have first, separately, the mention of the respective tribes, out of which the 
different families of Levi received their portions, and then the enumeration of 
the cities in full. The priestly family receives thirteen cities out of Judah, 



21. 1-9. 

t Kum.8S.2. 
1 Chron. 8. 
M, etc. 

(Num. 4. 4. 

V Nuin.4.31. 

w Lev. 25. 

of the children of Israel, and spake unto thera in Shi- 
loh in the land of Canaan, saying, Jehovah commanded 
by the hand of Moses to give us 'cities to dwell in, and 
pasturage for our cattle. And the children of Israel gave 
unto the Levites out of their inheritance, according to 
the word of Jehovah, these cities and their pasturage. 

And the lot came forth for the families of the 'Ko- 
hathites : — and the children of Aaron the priest, of the 
Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of 
the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin thir- 
teen cities. And the rest of the children of Kohath had 
by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, and out 
of the tribe of Dan, and out of the half tribe of Manas- 
seh, ten cities. And the children of "Gershon had by 
lot out of the families of the tribe of Issachar, and out 
of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, 
and out of the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thir- 
teen cities. The children of "Merari by their families 
had out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of 
Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulon, twelve cities. 
•"And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites 
these cities and their pasturage, as Jehovah had com- 
manded by the hand of Moses. 

And they gave out of the tribe of the children of 
Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, 

Simeon, and Benjamin; and this is easy to understand, except as to the number. 
For the priests look Godward, as ministry, typified in the order of Levites, does 
mauward; and these tribes (though with a certain difference as to Benjamin, 
which we shall find recognized in its place) do the same. The other Kohathites, 
typifying objective ministry, receive ten cities out of Ephraim, Dan, and half 
Manasseh, the reason for which as to the firat and the last is evident; while 
Dan, too, subjective as the two others, requires the Kohathite ministry to main- 
tain ability for self-judgment. Gershon, the subjective ministry, has thirteen 
cities in Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and half Manasseh: for practical walk, hap- 
piness, overcoming, need the lesson of strangership that he can teach them, 
while he has only to confirm in it the other and eastern half of Manasseh. 
Merari, finally, has his twelve cities out of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulon, to check 
the excess of individuality in all of them, and lead them into the apprehension 
of those relationships in which this finds its proper sphei'e and complement. 

The cities are now enumerated according to these four divisions of the Levites, 
which are strictly three: the priestly, and the simple Kohathite, the G«rshouite, 
and the Merarite. 

First, the children of Aaron; and here the cities out of Judah and Simeon are 
distinguished from those out of Benjamin, for a reason which is easily to be dis- 
covered. Judah, as exemplifying worship, leads Simeon, that is, communion; 
and the two must not be separated. Benjamin, though holding fast to Judah 
also, yet extends toward Ephraim. Thus while the two former tribes furnish 
nine cities to the priests (the usual 3 x 3, the divine number emphasized), the 
number of Benjamin's cities is four, that of the creature. We shall see more as 
to this directly. 

The cities of Judah and Simeon stand, then, as follows: — 

Hebron, ( 1. Eshtemoa, ( 1. Ain (or Ashan), 

1. ■( S. Libnah, 2. \ 2. Holon, 3. \ 2. Juttah, 

Jattir; \S. Debir; \S. Beth-shemesh. 


21. 9-16. 



these cities which are mentioned by name, which the 
children of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites, of 
the children of Levi had, — for theirs was the first lot. 
And they gave them the city of Arba the father of 
Anak, which is '^ Hebron in the hill-country of Judah, a;ch. 14. u. 
and its pasturage round about ; and the fields of the 
city and the villages thereof gave they to Caleb the son 
of Jephunneh for his possession. And they gave to the 
children of Aaron the priest Hebron and her pasturage 
to be a city of refuge for the slayer ; and ^Libnah and j/ch. 15.42. 
her pasturage ; and Jattir and her pasturage ; and Esh- 
temoa and her pasturage ; and Holon and her pastur- 
age ; and Debir and her pasturage ; and Ain and her 

The whole series is headed by a city of refuge, specially emphasized, as it 
would seem, by the repetition, first, as the city of Arba, the father of Anak, and 
then as the refuge for the manslayer. lu the latter character we have just seen 
its meaning, where also it is called Kirjath-arba. A divine Man has taken the 
place of him who exemplifies the pride and independence of mau's heart as 
fallen; and in Him the whole counsel of God is found. Hebron, as expressiug 
thus the communion of the whole Godhead, naturally fills the first place in the 
series. How blessed and wonderful a portion for the priests of God ! 

The second name, Libnah, "whiteness," we have had like Hebron several 
times already. Where it first comes before us as a city taken by Joshua, it rep- 
resents, as we have seen, separation from evil (page 66). Where we find it again, 
among Judah's cities in the lowland, it still retains this meaning, but applies 
to Christ entering into the sanctuary, clad in the white linen garment of the 
priest (page 106). Here it speaks similarly of the absolute purity of the Me- 
diator, ' ' the Man, Christ Jesus. ' ' 1 

But there is in Him what no one can utter, the glory of Him who " dwelleth in 
the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can 
see' ' ; and this we have found to be the thought in — 

Jattir, "he far excels," a town in the hill-country, notice, as Libnah is in 
the lowland. Had we not this name here, something would still be wanting to 
the expression of the glory of Christ : thus revealed as, in His own Person, the 
blessed portion of the priests of God. 

The second three cities seem still to speak of Christ, but in His service among 
men. Here we have — 

First, Eshtemoa, "obedience," the Father's will the motive and governing 
principle of His life. 

Then, the number of humiliation brings us to Holon, " night-lodgiug on the 

Thirdly, Debir, "oracle," a familiar word, gives us what He was in the world, 
the one perfect divine voice in it. We must not separate what are united here, 
the absolute obedience to the will of God, with the personal knowledge of human 
circumstances and sorrows, which, so far as they are found in those who follow 
Him, will enable them also, in their measure, to "speak as oracles of God." So 
He declares of Himself, by the prophet : "The Lord God has given me the tongue 
of them that are taught, that I should know how to sustain with words him that 
is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeueth mine ear to hear as 
they that are taught." (Isa. 1. 4, R. V.) How blessed and comforting for us 
this language of One Avho, God over all, blessed forever, is yet not ashamed to 
call us brethren ! The three names here have a real inward connection. 

The third three, on the other hand, in accordance with their numerical sig- 
nificance, go on to resurrection and the heavenly place. The first name here in 
Joshua is Ain, but 1 Chr. vi. 59 reads Ashan. Both are among Simeon's cities, 



21. 16-21. 

pasturage ; and Juttah and her pasturage ; Beth-she- 
mesh and her pasturage : nine cities out of those two 

And out of the tribe of ^Benjamin, Gibeon and her 
pasturage, Geba and her pasturage, "Anathoth and her 
pasturage, and Almon and her pasturage : four cities. 
All the cities of the sons of Aaron, the priests, were 
thirteen cities, and their pasturage. 

And the families of the children of * Kohath, the Le- 
vites that remained of the children of Kohath, they 
had of their lot cities of the tribe of "Ephraim. And 

z ch. 18. 11. 


a 1 Kl. 2.26. 
Jer. 1. 1- 
Ezr. 2. 23. 
Jer. 32. 7. 

b ver. 4, etc. 

but one would seem to be a mistake. Commentators generally prefer the latter, 
and the context inclines us to it. Ain, as we have there interpreted it (p. 100), 
does not seem appropriate; but Ashan, "smoke," referring, as it seems (see 
p. 107), to the smoke of incense, is perfectly so. He whom we have seen be- 
low in His ministry among men, is now above, still engaged for them; the 
number showing how that obedience" of His below becomes a sweet savor in 
behalf of His own above. 

Then Juttah, "enlargement," may speak of the coming in of the Gentiles, 
with the new hopes of a heavenly people, united with Christ above; while — 

Beth-shemesh, "the house of the sun," may well represent divine glory in the 
face of Jesus, as we now behold it, by faith, in heaven. Thus the third series is 

We now come to the Benjamite cities, which are four in number, the number 
of the creature: for Benjamin, "Christ in us," unites, as we have seen, the 
subjective with the objective. Benjamin, even dispensationally, is thus Christ 
in power on the earth; and the truth individually applied is hardly different : 
the effect of Christ known in glory is seen in power for a walk on earth. Corre- 
spondingly, these four names divide as 2x2, — the first portion speaking of 
Christ Himself, the latter of the effect in us. Here — 

First of the first two, Gibeon, "the pit of suffering for iniquity," represents, as 
before (p. 133), the cross. The second, Geba, "hill," we have also seen as the 
" hill that is higher than I," the recourse of the saint in trial, and which is, of 
course, Christ exalted. These two things are characteristic of the Benjamite 
condition. Christ crucified crucifies us to the world ; Christ glorified lifts us 
above it. This is power for the walk on eailh. 

The next two are Anathoth and Almon, and they correspond respectively to 
the two former. Anathoth, "afflictions," answers naturally to Gibeon, the 
cross. We have to take up our cross, — how different to His, however, — and to 
follow Him. Almon, "concealment," answering to Geba, speaks of a "life hid 
with Christ in God," the effect of a heart occupied with a hidden Saviour. The 
world that knows Him not cannot know the life inspired by Him, though they 
may be quite conscious of a power they know not. 

These are the priests' cities ; those of the simple Kohathite-Levites follow 
next. Here, first, they have out of Ephraim four cities, a number which we 
have had in connection with Benjamin, and which now prevails with only one 
exception, that of Naphtali, which has three. Manasseh furnishes two to Ko- 
hath and two to Gershon. 

The Kohathite cities give us the character of an objective ministry, such as we 
have before seen this family to represent. (Vol. I., pp. 397, 400, 401.) Those 
out of Ephraim declare it to us as a ministry of power ; the Danite ones as a min- 
istry of coH^rma^iow; the Manassite as one of revival. These characters unite 
easily together, and show objective ministry as what is typical ministry, minis- 
try of the highest kind; and no one that has experience of it but knows it to 
be that ; Gershon and Merari have their needful place, but with Kohath are the 

rfch. 19.40. 

21.21-23. JOSHUA. 165 

they gave them Shechem and her pasturage in mount 
Ephraim, the city of refuge for the slayer, and Gezer 
and her pasturage, and Kibzaim and her pasturage, and 
Beth-horon and her pasturage : four cities. 

And out of the tribe of ■* Dan, Eltekeh and her pas- 
ark and mercy-seat, the altars, the table of shew-bread, the lamp of the sancta- 
ary, and even the veil, things of vvhich we know in measure the meaning and 
value. They Speak of Christ Himself in person and work, and upon this all else 
must depend. 

The first name among the Ephraimite portion is again that of a city of refuge, 
Shechem, "shoulder," that which bears the burden, and which represents, as 
this, Christ as the Servant of God's will, for us the Burden-bearer, or indeed bear- 
ing us, as the Shepherd the lost sheep, according to His own parable. Here 
indeed is power, a power outside ourselves equal to all emergencies — to every 
possible demand upon it. Thus "the government is upon His shoulder," as 
fully competent. 

Next we have Gezer, "cutting off, isolation," a word which directly reminds 
us of the "land cut off" to which the scape-goat bears the sins of Israel on the 
day of atonement. This goes beyond the city of refuge, a place of shelter, but 
no more. Here the sins themselves are gone, never to be found again. Justifi- 
cation is full and entire. Peace is made, never more to he broken. Hence a way 
is made for God to display the love that is in His heart, and to gather His peo- 
ple ; and — 

Kibzaim shows us a "double gathering," as also the day of atonement does. 
"He died for that nation (Israel), and not for that nation only, but also that He 
might gather together in one the children of God which are scattered abroad. " 
(John xi. 51, 52.) The Church it is that comes now at the present time upon 
the ground of sins put away. And here power is realized by us ; for the knowl- 
edge of grace is the attainment of power. 

Yet sin is dealt with also, in the saint as well as in the sinner ; and this Beth- 
horon, "the house of wrath," comes fittingly to assure us of Beth-horon is 
doubly — there is an upper and a lower city ; and we have had to distinguish these 
already (page 118.) The nether Beth-horon is judgment as it falls upon the im- 
penitent and unbeliever. The upper is judgment (and thus wrath) against sin, 
though assuming for the believer the form of chastening mercy. "For if we 
would judge ourselves we should not be judged; but when we are judged we are 
chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." (1 Cor. 
xi. 31,32.) 

This double city has thus the full character of witness-warning against the abuse 
of grace, while it limits not in the least the grace itself The names thus closed 
show us in this way the real elements of a ministry of power, and are all object- 
ive, and suit Kohath well. They are guard and guide to fruitful Ephraim no 
less, as is easy to be seen. 

But we come now to Dan, and shall find, according to what is expressed in 
him, the subjective side of an objective ministry. Dan is intensely subjective, and 
something of this must be found in all that is really ministry at all. We shall 
see how it is, in fact, that which comes in to confirm, not displace or modify, the 
former ; and thus to confirm, also, the soul itself. 

Here, first, Eltekeh, "God the object of fear," gives us the constant, only 
right, attitude of the soul in His presence. Whatever weakens this condemns 
itself Does grace weaken this ? Nay, it only gives it its proper character as 
filial, not servile, fear: "There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayst be 
feared." God is not less on the throne, but more; for the rebellion of the 
will is vanquished, and the heart bows with the head. This character of grace 
needs to be well understood, and with many is not, simple as it really is. The 
main cavil against grace it is that is here overthrown indeed, and the gospel 
buttresses itself against all attack. Worthy is Eltekeh of a first place. 

e ch. 17. 1, 

166 JOSHUA. 21. 23-26. 

turage, Gibbethon and her pasturage, Ajalon and her 
pasturage, Gath-rimmon and her pasturage : four cities. 
And out of the half tribe of 'Manasseh, Taanach and 
her pasturage, and Gath-rimmon and her pasturage : 
two cities. All the cities were ten, with their pastur- 
age, for the families of the children of Kohath that 

Next, Gibbethon, "height," which we have already found applying to onr 
relation to God in Christ, comes in as a second bulwark against the moralist's 
objection. Our place in Christ gives us at once the basis of our walk, and power 
for it. To walk in Him is to walk as He walked, but it is to walk also as de- 
pendent upon and drawing from Him. It is that abiding of the branch in the 
vine that makes it fruitful. Occupation with Himself is deliverance from the 
power of the world and sin. 

In the third place, Ajalon, "the place of harts," suggests the agile, yet firm, 
tread of this animal, with reference to which it is said, "He maketh my feet like 
hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places." (Ps. xviii. 33.) The "high 
places" belong to the weakest believer; but we need to oe made competent to 
occupy them, — the firm, sure tread of the hart upon the mountains. It is but 
the realizing power of faith that is needed for this; of which the number here 
may remind us. It is but to take God at His word; and if the blessed place be 
ours, to fill the place. 

Then Gath-rimmon, the "winepress of the pomegranate," speaks to us once 
more of the animating power of the word of Grod, which can only, when the 
soul is thus established, do its proper work, and enrich and exalt all its fac- 
ulties. The fourth place in which we find this name affirms these results as 
facts of experience. They are truly the experience of every one who lives and 
walks in communion with God. This closes the list of Dan's cities. 

In Manasseh 's possessions on the west of Jordan, Kohath has only two cities, 
Taanach and another Gath-rimmon. For the last. Chronicles substitutes Bileam, 
a transposition of Ibleam, as generally supposed: one of the towns that Manasseh 
receives from Asher or from Issachar, but fails to take out of the hands of tbe 
Canaanites. The Septuagint has a diifereut name here from both, however, and 
criticism seems able to determine nothing : for Gath-rimmon may be another 
name for Bileam, the recurrence of names and the duplication of them being 
alike common, and we must not too readily suppose that a copyist's error which 
has in its favor all the Hebrew copies. Altogether, we are free to ask what the 
spiritual interpretation may have to say in the matter, and have no decisive 
reason for refusing to submit ourselves entirely to its guidance. 

With the meaning of Manasseh we are well acquainted. Its "forgetting" is 
in order to pressing on, and is closely linked with Ephraim's " fruitfulness. " 
Some connection with this should appear in these two cities, which, in becoming 
Levitical do not cease to be Manassite. 

Again, as two is the number of contrast, a dual division like this will often 
be found to show this. Taanach and Gath-rimmon may thus give contrasted 
thoughts, as indeed ' ' sandy soil ' ' and the pomegranate naturally suggest. It 
does not need that Taanach should be a desert to suggest the thought of it; and 
besides, the sand of the desert is spiritually fruitful, and intended so to be. 
God meant the wilderness to teach Israel the grand lesson of faith; and for us 
He means the world as that to wean us from other dependencies than Himself, 
and make us look on to our rest. Thus Taanach 's sandy soil may lie really 
fruitful, and not the less typical on that account, while Gath-rimmon may show 
us where faith finds refreshment and stimulus for the way that leads to God. 

The numljere are in accordance with such an interpretation: for one is the 
number of solitarines.s, and thus barrenness; while two is that of the Word and 
of ministry. Interpretation would thus, I judge, decide for Gath-rimmon as the 

21. 27. JOSHUA. 167 

And for the children of Gershon of the families of the 
Levites : out of the half tribe of Mauasseh, Golan in 
Bashan and her pasturage, the city of refuge for the 
slayer, and Beeshterah and her pasturage : two cities. 

trne reading. Bileam and Ibleam have substantially the same meaning, and 
that the same as that of the unfaithful prophet. Bileam is only Balaam; and if 
this is substituted for Gath-rimmon I see no proper sense. Taanach and Gath- 
rimmon harmonize, also, perfectly with the lesson of Manasseh, as is manifest; 
and this cumulative witness may well be decisive of the question of criticism. 

The Gershonite cities are thirteen in number, and they belong to four tril^es — 
Manasseh, Issachar, Asher, and Naphtali. Manasseh comes first, — the half-tribe 
east of Jordan, — and again with two cities, Grolan and Be-eshterah. 

A.S with Kohath, so with Gershon, a city of refuge heads the list. Golan is 
"exultation," the fullness of joy in Christ Jesus that marks the true circum- 
cision. (Phil. iii. 3.) Gershon, the "exile," is near akin in spirit, evidently, to 
Mauasseh, "forgetter," and for each joj is a needful element of strength; the 
joy in One who is absent: as Peter expresses it, "Whom having not seen, ye 
love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy 
unspeakable, and full of glory. ' ' (1 Pet. i. 8. ) For a Levite, also, how necessary 
a possession such as this! A joy in Christ that is "fuU of glory," is in itself a 
ministry of Christ to men; and we are admonished to be " teaching and admon- 
i.shiug one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace 
iu your hearts unto God." (Col. iii. 16.) 

Be-eshterah is given in Chronicles as Ashtaroth, and the mass of commentators 
follow Gesenius in considering the prefix "be" as an abbre^-iation of "beth," 
understanding the compound word to mean "the house of Ashterah," or "Ash- 
toreth." There tvas, as we know, an Ashtaroth iu Mana,sseh, the old city of Og; 
and, according to the testimony of Eusebius and Jerome, more than one, so that 
the one before us need not have been the heathen capital. Is it the "house of 
Ashterah"? The abbreviation of "beth" into "be" is more than doubtful; 
no certain example can be given of such a change; and it is not likely that 
Israel, when they changed similar names because of their connection with 
idolatry (Num. xxxii. 38) would allow one like this to stand. It might be, 
indeed, here mentioned by its old heathen name after it had acquired another; 
but in such cases the new name would naturally, at least, be given with it, 
as with " Kirjath-baal, which is Kirjath-jearim " (ch. xv. 60). 

But if it be not the heathen name, what is it ? " Ashteroth " is, indeed, found 
four times in Deuteronomy (ch. vii. 13; xxviii. 4, 18, 51), translated in the 
common vei-sion "flocks," and in the revised version "young"; by others, 
again (much better), "ewes"; while Young gives "multiplications." Perhaps 
aU consider it as a mere adaptation of the heathen word ; which seems, however, 
strange enough as that. The gi-eater probability would surely be that the 
heathen goddess took her name from, rather than gave it to, the ewes of the 

If this be admitted, the be may be what grammarians call the beth essentise, a 
simple emphasizing of the word which follows it; and which, in its idea. Dr. 
Young's translation gives as "multiplication." This agrees with the numljer 
of ' ' increase, ' ' under which it stands, and yields a simple sense in connection 
with Golan: for the joy in Christ, which is "full of glory," is, indeed, nothing 
else than the sunshine of His face, while "from glory to glory" expresses the 
necessity of progress in the soul to whom Christ is thus unveiled. This is ob- 
viously, also, a thought quite in accordance with what is represented by Manas- 
seh, and seems thus additionally worthy of acceptance as the thought here. 

These two express, therefore, for Gershon, the "exile," that which separates 
his strangership from mere asceticism, and shows the spring of power which is 
in it. And now Issachar, who speaks of the earth-walk, furnishes to him in its 



21. 28-32 

And out of the tribe of ■''Issachar, Kishion and her 
pasturage, Daberath and her pasturage, Jarmuth and 
her pasturage, Engannim and her pasturage : four 

And out of the tribe of •'' Asher, Misheal and her pas- 
turage, Abdon and her pasturage, Helkath and her 
pasturage, Rehob and her pasturage : four cities. 

And out of the tribe of *Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee 
and her pasturage, the city of refuge for the slayer, and 
Hammoth-dor and her pasturage, and Kartan and her 

/ch. 19.17, 

g ch. 19. 24, 

;i ch. 19. 32, 

four cities the means of preservation of this i)ower amid the adverse influences 
of the world. These cities are — 

First, Kishiou, "hardening," which, as a Levitical and Gershonite city, nat- 
urally changes its significance, and shows us what the very opposition of the 
■world may do for us, as begetting in lis force of character and independent in- 
dividualit.y, wliich dares to stand alone, in single obedience to the will of God. 
All difficulties are but a discipline to the soul in earnest. The habit of over- 
coming can be acquired, like other habits; and thus adverse circumstances may 
be none the less helpful, — God making, as He has promised, all things work 
together for good to them that love Him. Thus Kishion is, after all, not so 
strange a word to find beside — 

Daberath, "pasture"; for there are "pastures of the wilderness," and the 
world being what it is only makes the refreshment He has provided for it 
sweeter and more satisfying. There is grace always equal to the need also, 
where the heart turns with its need to Him. Then we have — 

Jarmuth, "height," which we have seen once to speak of Christ exalted, and 
once of our own exaltation in Him, — things that naturally go together. From 
this height, one may say, is fed — 

Engannim, the precioiLs "spring of" God's "gardens," where His plants are 
nurtured. With all these thoughts we are familiar; and their study in these 
new connections must be left very much to be worked out by those who care 
for it. Where there is not such care, volumes might be written in vain. 

Asher follows Issachar; and liere again all the names have been Ijefore us. 
We need not wonder that the first Gershonite town should be — 

Misheal, "feeling after God"; nor the second — 

Abdon, "bond-service"; the third is — 

Helkath, "equal division"; and the fourth — 

Rehob, "room." These four, where God is known and relation to Him estab- 
lished, are all blessedness, and worthy, therefore, of Asher. They show us the 
portion of the true Levite, which is in God Himself, and the heart of ministry 
such as the Jjevite speaks of. 

Lastly, out of Naphtali Gershou has three cities. Naphtali, the triumphant 
struggler, and in the fourth place here, speaks clearly of experience, a thing 
quite necessary to the ministering Levite, and with which he, too, is called to 
minister. Here — 

Kedesh in Galilee, a city of refuge, the .soul's sanctuary-rest in self-humilia- 
tion before God, is the first sweet lesson of experience, — a lesson how blessed for 
the soul that has learned it, — how blessed, therefore, to enrich others with! 
Then — 

Hammoth-dor, " heat of the dwelling," — .w»i-heat. It may be the Hammath 
which we have had as one of the cities of Naphtali already (page 154), although 
here a plural, which intensifies the thought, and with l^or attached. The 
spiritual meaning is self-evident. 

Kartan, in the third place, is considered to be a contraction of Kirjathaim, 
"two cities," or the double city, and would seem to speak of fellowship in 

21. 32-36, 



pasturage : three cities. All the cities of the Gershon- 
ites, according to their families, were thirteen cities and 
their pasturage. 

And for the families of the children of Merari, the 
rest of the Levites: out of the tribe of 'Zebulon, Jok- 
neam and her pasturage, and Kartah and her pastur- 
age, Dimnah and her pasturage, Nahalal and her pas- 
turage : four cities. 

And out of the tribe of ■'Reuben, Bezer and her pas- 

i ch. 19. 10, 

j ch. 13. 15, 

activity; and this would not be unsuited, perhaps, as a name for any Levite 
city, but yet especially appropriate in this place. Here the Gershonite cities 

The Merarite cities are twelve in number, and furnished by three tribes, — 
Zebulon, Eeaben, and Gad. We have already (vol. i., p. 397, sq.) seen that 
Merari's ministry speaks of that which has to do with the maintenance of the 
Church itself; and this is why, perhaps, its cities are twelve, the number of man- 
ifest divine government. Alas, we have lost much this manifestation in the 
multiplicity of human rules and machinery that have been introduced, aud the 
self-will that breaks all bounds continually. Few Merarites, in truth, seem to 
remain to the Church, but here in Joshua we have the divine thought, not the 
human failure; and the twelve cities are in accordance with this. 

The firet tribe that furnishes cities to the Merarite is Zebulon : for dwelling 
with God, which implies practical consecration to Him, is here first of all impor- 
tant for the upholding of His claim upon men. The cities are, first, — 

Jokneam, "possession of the people," — for the first need on the part of His 
people is to be put in possession of what is theirs from God. We have next — 

Kartah, ' ' city, ' ' which implies fellowship, living activity, aud yet boundary- 
lines preserved, care being taken that these in the church of God are of divine 
establishment, marked out by the word of God alone. We have next — 

Dimnah, "dung," for which, in 1 Chr. vi. 62, there seems to be substituted 
Rimmon (or Rimmono), a word with which we are familiar, and of much pleas- 
auter suggestion than the word before us. The change in the Hebrew is such 
as might come through slight corruption of the text, but Keil rightly reminds 
us that in Chronicles we have but two cities here instead of four; and the other. 
Tabor, is not found here either. Remmon, or Rimmon, is found, however, in 
Zebulon, while Dimnah occurs nowhere else than in this passage : thus on both 
sides there are things to be considered. 

Rimmon, standing for the "word of God," as the pomegranate typifies it, 
would imply the holy fruitfulness which it produces. Dimnah could only, as 
it would seem, point out the need of apprehension of that which defiles, as part 
of true Levite ministry in the church of G«d, most necessary for the Merarite. 
This would suit well, also, the numerical place which speaks of sanctification. 
On the whole, Dimnah seems to give the clearer spiritual thought; and which, 
being in the text also, we must prefer. The last word here, — 

Nahalal, a "place whither they lead " cattle to pasture, suggests very diflFerent 
thoughts. Nahal means " to lead with gentleness and care" (Wilson); and such 
a tender helpfulness must, indeed, characterize the Merarite ministry. True love 
must govern all, acting oftentimes in Avays that may seem even opposed to oue 
another, but are not : it is the * ' bond of perfectness. ' ' 

Reuben next famishes her quota : the subject will of faith is, indeed, neces- 
sary to him who would stand for the rule of God over the people of God. But 
here — 

Bezer at once shows how ample is the ' ' store ' ' of him who makes Christ his 
resource and treasure-house. Dependence on the living Lord, habitual reference 
to Him in all things, is the indispensable requisite for standing in the prophet's 



21. 36-43. 

k ch. 13. 24, 


turage, and Jahazah and her pasturage, Kedemoth and 
her pasturage, and Mephaath and her pasturage : four 

And out of the tribe of * Gad, Ramoth in Gilead and 
her pasturage, the city of refuge for the slayer, and 
Mahanaim and her pasturage, Heshbon and her pas- 
turage, Jaazer and her pasturage : four cities in all. 

All the cities for the children of Merari by their fam- 
ilies, that remained of the families of the Levites, were 
[by] their lot twelve cities. All the cities of the Le- 
vites in the midst of the possession of the children of 
Israel were ' forty-eight cities and their pasturage : 
these cities had every one of them their pasturage 
round about them ; so it was with all these cities. 

And Jehovah gave unto Israel all the land which he 
had"* sworn to give unto their fathers; and they pos- 

place before men : and this is what, in his measure, every Merarite does. 
Then — 

Jahazah, the same as Jahaz, where Israel met and defeated Sihon, with its 
meaning, ' ' a place trodden down, ' ' reminds us of the resolute tread of the sol- 
dier of Christ, and of the well-contested fields* in which he is to be found, as 
does — 

Kedemoth, of "things that confront" him. But these are among his pos- 
sessions, none the less, as things whereby faith is exercised and matured, which 
are " for " him, as to him that loves God all things are, — working together for 
good. Finally, here — 

Mephaath, "shining forth," naturally speaks of the end which faith has 
before it, "the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus 
Christ," which is also connected with the appraisement of the responsibility of 
disciples, and the rewards of grace. These four cities are a fit contribution, 
then, from Reuben to Merari. 

One tribe alone remains now to be considered, and that is Gad, whose four 
cities are already familiar to us, save the last : Ramoth in Gilead, a city of refuge 
for the mauslayer; Mahanaim, where of old .Jacob met the host of God; Heshbon, 
Sihon's capital; and Jazer, "He shall help." 

Gad, as Ave have seen, speaks of spiritual increase, as well as of activity, not 
apart from conflict either. Ramoth in Gilead shows the place of acceptance in 
the Beloved, of power as raised up with Him, in whom alone all increase finds 
its secure startiug-jjoint, and all activity its safeguard as well as power. Taken 
out of the world, we are sanctified and sent into it again by the Lord our Head, 
as He was sent into it by the Father. How necessary the knowledge of this for 
the Merarite who has to do with the Church on earth ! Then — 

Mahanaim, "two hosts," which sjjeaks certainly, from it.s history, of heavenly 
succor, with an implication of warfare, for which the l)attle-cry is that "the 
Lord of hosts is with us ! " Thus we are not only sent forth, but accompanied 
and sustained. 

Heshbon, then, reminds us how, as restored by faiih (for the children of 
Reuben rebuilt the city, Num. xxxii. 37), "reason" has its place and use for 
spiritual increase (Gad), and for Merarite ministry. While — 

Jazer — which may be a contraction for Jah-ezer, "Jab is help," — closes, 
then, the whole series with the tender reminder of our weakness, and of the 
divine strength to which it appeals, — which the frank recognition of it ever 
brings in for us. 

Thus the enumeration of Israel's cities ends; and of what a wealth of blessing 
may they not put us in possession, if in faith and patience we seek to possess 

21. 43-22. 8. 



the unity 
of Israel. 

o ch. 23. 14. 
1 Kl. 8. 56. 
cf. 1 Kings 

Epb. 3. 20, 

p ch. 1. 12. 

Num. 32. 
28, etc. 

q Num. 32. 

r Deut. 6. 5. 
Deut. 4. 9. 

sessed it and dwelt therein. And Jehovah gave them 
"rest round about, according to all that he had sworn 
unto their fathers; and there stood not a man of all 
their enemies before them : Jehovah delivered all their 
enemies into their hand. There "failed not aught of 
any good thing that Jehovah had spoken unto the chil- 
dren of Israel ; all came to pass. 

Subdivision 2. (Chap, xxii.-xxiv.) 
(XXII ) Appended Warnings. 

l.nnHEN Joshua called the ^Reubenites and the Gadites 
J|_ and the half tribe of Manasseh, and said unto them, 
Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of Jehovah 
commanded you, and have hearkened to my voice in 
all that I commanded you : ye have not left your breth- 
ren these many days unto this day, and have kept the 
charge of the commandment of Jehovah your God. 
And now Jehovah your God hath given rest unto your 
brethren, as he spake to them ; and now return, and go 
unto your tents, into the land of your « possession which 
Moses the servant of Jehovah gave you, the other side 
of Jordan. Only take diligent heed to do the com- 
mandment and law which Moses the servant of Jeho- 
vah commanded you, in 'loving Jehovah your God, and 
walking in all his ways, and keeping his command- 
ments and cleaving unto him, even serving him with 
all your heart and Avith all your soul. And Joshua 
blessed them and sent them away, and they went unto 
their tents. (Now to the one half of the tribe of Ma- 
nasseh Moses had given [possession] in Bashan, but to 
the [* other] half thereof gave Joshua among their breth- 
ren on the other side of Jordan westward.) And also 
when Joshua sent them unto their tents and blessed 
them he spake unto them, saying, Return unto your 
tents with much 'riches, and with very much cattle, 
with silver and with gold and with brass and with iron, 

ourselves of it. This account of them, pitifully brief and incomplete as it is, is 
yet a witness of how much God has stored up here for the earnest-hearted. 
There has been shown, at least, the gleam of gold abundantly throughout ; aud 
little labor is required to make one possessor of it. Meditation and study are 
always needed, however, and here will be abundantly repaid. "The diligent 
soul shall be made fat." 

Subdivision 2. (Chap, xxii.-xxiv.) 
Section 1. (Chap, xxii.) 

We have in the last subdivision of the book what is plainly supplementary. 
We have no longer the history of the work of divine power by which the inherit- 
ance of the people of God is secured to them, nor the account of the land itself, 
of which they take possession. Out of this we pass into what is manifestly of 
another and lower order of testimony, — not to the power of Grod or His grace 
and gift, but to the people themselves and to their little competency even to 
hold the gift which has been made their own. 

In feet, we have already had, even in the history of their first estabUshment 

12 ii. 



22. 8-17. 

and with very much raiment: "divide the spoil of your 
enemies with your brethren. 

And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad 
and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed 
from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in 
the land of Canaan, to go into the land-of Gilead, to the 
land of their possession,, in which they had possession 
according to the voice of Jehovah by the hand of Moses. 
And when they came to the circuits of Jordan, which 
are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and 
the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built 
there an altar by Jordan, a "great altar to behold. And 
the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of 
Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of 
Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of 
Canaan, in the circuits of Jordan, opposite the children 
of Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, the 
'"whole assembly of the children of Israel gathered 
themselves at Shiloh, to go up to war against them. 
And the children of Israel *sent unto the children of 
Reuben and to the children of Gad and to the half 
tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas, 
the son of Eleazar the priest, and with him ten princes, 
of each father's house a prince for all the tribes of 
Israel ; and each one was head of their father's house 
among the thousands of Israel. 

And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to 
the children of Gad and to the half tribe of Manasseh 
into the land of Gilead, and they spake with them, say- 
ing. Thus saith all the assembly of Jehovah, What is 
this unfaithfulness that ye have committed against the 
God of Israel this day, in turning away from following 
Jehovah, building yourselves an altar to rebel this day 
against Jehovah ? Is the ^ iniquity of Peor too little for 


V cf. Deut. 
12. 13, 14. 

w cf. Jud. 
20. 1. 
Gal. 6. 1. 
1 Cor. 12.26. 

X De. 13. 14. 

y Num.25.3. 

in their laud, the record of failure. Oue of the things most strongly insisted on 
in the charge entrusted to them was that they should dispo.ssess the Canaanites ; 
and herein they fail conspicuously ; not merely for lack of strength, but when 
they Mve strength. But even the lack of strength meant only lack of faith and 
of heart. Nor is this merely a negative, a defect : it means always the cherish- 
ing of what is contrary to God, and thus a positive seed of evil which springs up 
and spreads, as we .shall find it spreading in the Book of Judges. Thus Israel 
are no sooner planted in the land than they fail in it ; and such failure has been 
found in the history of all dispensations, and equally from the first. In the 
Christian Church, above all, as its privilege and blessing have been most remark- 
able, so have been the failure and evil in it : carefully foretold, moreover, as in 
Moses' song that of Israel. God is not disappointed — has not deceived Himself; 
nor, if we will listen to Him, will He allow us to be deceived. Corruptio optimi, 
pessinut corruptio has been long said: " the corruption of what is best is the woret 
corruption. ' ' And let anything be entrusted to man, it will be corrupted. Thus, 
with the completion of revelation lias gone on the growth of evil, Jezebel and 
Babylon of old being only types of worse abominations in Christian times, iniq- 
uity developing to the day of harvest, when, fully manifested for what it is, it 
shall be reaped for the fire that shall consume it. 

22. 17-27. 



V. 2o. 

a Num. 6. 8. 

US, from which we are not cleansed to this day, though 
there was a plague in the assembly of Jehovah, but that 
ye must turn away this day from following Jehovah ? will be, because ye rebel to-day against Jehovah, 
to-morrow he will be wroth with the 'whole assembly of 
Israel. But indeed, if the land of your possession be 
unclean, pass over to the land of Jehovah's possession, 
where Jehovah's tabernacle dwelleth, and take posses- 
sion among us ; but rebel not against Jehovah, nor re- 
bel against us, in building yourselves an altar beside the 
altar of Jehovah our God. Did not Achan, the son of 
Zerah, commit unfaithfulness about the devoted thing, 
and upon all the' assembly of Israel there was wrath, 
and the man perished not alone in his iniquity ? 

And the "children of Keuben and the children of Gad 
and the half tribe of Manasseh answered and spake 
unto the heads of the thousands of Israel, The God of 
gods, Jehovah, the God of gods, Jehovah, he knoweth, 
and Israel, he shall know, if in rebellion, and if in un- 
faithfulness against Jehovah, save us not this day ! that 
we have built ourselves an altar to turn back from fol- 
lowing Jehovah ; and if to offer thereon * burnt-offering 
and meal-offering, and if to offer peace-offerings there- 
on, let Jehovah himself require it ! and if we have not 
done it from fear of this thing, saying. In time to come 
your " children may speak to our childi-en, saying, What 
have ye to do with Jehovah the God of Israel ? Jeho- 
vah hath made Jordan a border between us and you : 
ye children of Reuben and children of Gad, ye have no 
portion in Jehovah. Even so may your children make 
our children cease from fearing Jehovah. ''And we 
said. Let us noAV set to work to build an altar, not for 
burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness be- 
tween us and you, and between our generations after 
us, that we may perform the service of Jehovah before 
him, with our burnt-offerings, and with our sacrifices, 
and with our peace-offerings, that your children may 
not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no 

The last three chapters of Joshua are not, however, a formal prophecy of im- 
pending evil, such as, for instance, Moses' song. And the twenty-second chapter 
is not even a direct warning as to this, as Joshua's address is afterward. It is 
but the story of a well-meant attempt to provide against a possible breach, at an 
aftertime, of Israel's unity. The two and a half tribes, sent back to their inher- 
itance on the east side of Jordan, set up near the river ' ' a gi'eat altar to see to, " 
as a witness that they are of one faith with those upon the other side, and that 
their children of after generations might not be deprived ot a place with them 
in the worship of their common Lord. It is all well, and their brethren (even 
Phinehas with his unflinching zeal for God) are satisfied with their explanations. 
Yet it is plain an uneasy sense of insecurity is already haunting them. The 
danger may never practically present itself from the quarter they anticipate : we 
do not read that it ever did ; yet the sense of danger may be a true presentiment 
none the less ; and while the door is barred in one direction, it may be wide 
oj)en in another. 

6 Deut. 12. 
26, 27. 
ver. 29. 

c Ex. 13. 14. 
ch. 4. 21. 

d ctr. 1 KL 
12. 27. 



22. 27-23. 2. 



and the 


1. (xxiii.) 
An appeal 
for Integri- 
ty on the 
ground of 

portion in Jehovah. And we said, If it be that in time 
to come they say thus to us and to our generations, we 
will say, Behold the 'pattern of the altar which our 
fathers made, not for burnt-offering nor for sacrifice, 
but as a witness between us and you. Far be it from 
us to rebel against Jehovah, and to turn back this day 
fi'om following Jehovah, in building an altar for burnt- 
offering, for meal-ofFei"ing, and for sacrifice, beside the 
altar of Jehovah our God that is before his tabernacle. 
And when Phinehas the priest and the princes of the 
assembly and the heads of the thousands of Israel that 
were with him heard the words that the children of 
Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of 
Manasseh spoke, it was good in their sight. And Phin- 
ehas the son of Eleazar the priest said unto the chil- 
dren of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the 
children of Manasseh, This day we know that Jehovah 
is among us, because ye have not committed this un- 
faithfiilness against Jehovah : now have ye delivered the 
■''children of Israel out of Jehovah's hand. And "Phine- 
has the son of Eleazar the priest and the princes re- 
turned from the children of Reuben and from the chil- 
dren of Gad, from the land of Gilead, unto the land of 
Canaan, unto the children of Israel, and brought them 
word again. And the thing was good in the eyes of 
the childx"en of Israel, and the children of Israel blessed 
God, and no more spake of going up against them in 
battle, to destroy the land in which the children of Reu- 
ben and the children of Gad dwelt. And the children 
of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar 
[Ed] , because it is a witness between us that Jehovah 
is God. 


2. ^ And it came to pass a long 'time after Jehovah had 
given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, 
that Joshua was old, advanced in days. And Joshua 

e ctr. 2 Kl. 
16. 10-12. 

/Ch. 7.11,12. 

g ch. 13. 1. 

They are right in realizing that their one Lord is the bond of unity. They 
do not anticipate that their danger, in fact, is not from their brethren, but in 
themselves. Their own slipping away from Jehovah is that which leads to their 
dispersion and captivity in other lands, after allowing city after city to fall into 
the bands of Moab. The enemy that they are facing in the west comes up, thus, 
really from another quarter, and where there is no bulwark erected to keep him 
out. For us the lesson is all-important. It is not by ability to keep in view the 
whole horizon of circumstance that we shall be eflfectually guarded from the ap- 
proach of evil : it is by that spirit which is manifested in those who are the true 
circumcision — "no confidence in the flesh." (Phil. iii. 3.) Tliis makes God a 
practical, continual necessity, and His all-sufficiency our complete safeguard and 
rest. This is the lesson with which the great altar of Ed impresses us, and a 
most useful one it surely is. 

Sec. 2. (Chaps, xxiii., xxiv.) 
The closing chapters are so plain that they require, in general, but little inter- 
pretation. Joshua's appeal, the renewal of the covenant, the limiting statement 
as to Israel's obedience in the days of Joshua and of those contemporary with 

23. 2-13. 



called for all Israel, for their elders, and for their heads, 
and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto 
them : I am old, I am advanced in days, and ye have 
seen all that Jehovah your God hath done unto all these 
nations for your sake : for Jehovah your God is he 
who fought for you. Behold, I have divided unto you 
by lot these nations that remain, for an inheritance 
unto your tribes from Jordan, as well as all the nations 
that I have cut off, unto the great sea toward the sun- 
set. And Jehovah your God, he will expel them from 
before you, and drive them from out of your sight ; and 
ye shall possess the land, as Jehovah your God hath 
said unto you. Be ye therefore very * resolute to ob- 
serve and do all that is written in the book of the law 
of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right 
hand or the left ; that ye go not among these nations, 
these that remain among you, nor make mention of the 
name of their gods, nor cause to swear [by them], nor 
serve them, nor bow yourselves to them ; but cleave 
unto Jehovah your God, as ye have done unto this 
day. For Jehovah hath driven out from before you 
great nations and strong ; but as for you, no man hath 
been able to stand before you unto this day. 'One man 
of you shall chase a thousand ; for Jehovah your God 
is he who fighteth for you, as he hath said unto you. 
Take good heed therefore to your souls that ye love 
Jehovah your God. Else if ye do in any wise go back, 
and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, these 
that remain among you, and make marriages •'with 
them, and go in unto them, and they unto you, know 
certainly that Jehovah your God will no more drive out 

hch. 1.7,8. 

1 Lev. 26. 8. 

Mat. 1. 5. 

him, all show the decline that is imminent, and which faces us at once in the 
following book. Joshua's words, "Ye cannot serve Jehovah," show that, with 
all his heroism of iudi\'idual obedience, he is not deceived as to the issue under 
that covenant which so often needs renewing on the people's side. How could 
he be, with Moses' song ringing in his ears? Only those willing to be deceived 
could be. And so with ourselves exactly : predictions of the Church's course 
have so little ambiguity that it is marvelous that the smooth preaching of peace, 
and the comforting assurance of progressive blessing, could ever gain credence 
with those who boast in an "open Bible." But the Bible can he but little 
"open," as long as man's pride and self-seeking hang their imaginative veil be- 
fore it; and the Church, believing herself heir to Israel's promises, has largely 
refused to accept the lessons of Israel's career, which she has so closely followed. 
Thank God, we are near the end of the strange history of near two millennia ; 
and for us the end is the coming of the Lord. 

(i. ) These charges are a double warning, at the pathetic moment when Joshua, 
their leader in victory so often, is passing away. Old, and stricken with the 
weight of the years he carries, he stands before assembled Israel, to remind them 
of the Lord's fulfillment to them of His promises, and to assure them that His 
threatenings would be no less perfectly fulfilled. The word given to himself at 
the beginning of the conquest of the land, he now exhorts them with in turn : 
"Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the 
book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or 



23. 13-24-6. 

2. (xxlv.) 
Jehovah or 

the hea- 
then gods? 
The cove- 
nant con- 


I cf. Gen. 
Josh. 8. 

these * nations from before you, but they shall be snares 
and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and 
thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good 
land which Jehovah your God hath given you. And 
behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth; 
and ye know in all your heart and in all your soul, 
that not one thing hath failed of all the good things of 
which Jehovah your God spake concerning you ; all 
have come to pass unto you ; not one thing hath failed 
thereof. And it shall be that as all good things are 
come upon you, which Jehovah your God hath spoken 
concerning you, so shall Jehovah bring upon you all 
evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this 
good land which Jehovah your God hath given you. 
When ye have transgressed the covenant of Jehovah 
your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve 
other gods, and bow yourselves to them, then shall Je- 
hovah's wrath be kindled against you, and ye shall 
perish quickly from off the good land that he hath 
given you. 

''And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel unto 
'Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for 
their heads, and for their judges, and for their offi- 
cers ; and they presented themselves before God. And 
Joshua said unto all the people. Thus saith Jehovah, 
the God of Israel : Your fathers dwelt of old on the 
other side of the River, Terah the father of Abra- 
ham, and the father of Nahor ; and they served other 
gods. And I took your father Abraham from the 
other side of the River, and led him throughout the 
land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave 
him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau; 
and I gave unto Esau mount ""Seir, to possess it; and 
Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. And 
I sent Moses and Aaron, and plagued Egypt accord- 
ing to that which I did in the midst of it, and after- 
wards I brought you out. And I brought your fathers 

to the left." In truth it needs courage to stand for God and for His word in the 
face of all that this involves ! Yet how strange to speak of any call for this as if 
it could be lacking ! Courage, in standing for God ! But such is man, even the 
best of men, that he needs to be urged to this, though only faith is lacking in 
this cause for one man to chase a thousand, yea, for two to put ten thousand to 

(ii.) Joshua's second address is at Shechem, a place memorable in so many 
ways from Abraham's time ; and there the covenant with Jehovah is renewed. 
Joshua reminds them again of the mercies of God towards them, beginning with 
the call of Abraham himself, of whom we are now for the firet told that he had 
been involved in the common idolatry of the times, along with his father Terah 
and his brother Nahor. With grace thus the tale begins, a grace their need of 
■which their own history had so clearly testified. Divine power had been shown 
in the gift of Isaac, given when nature was dead in Abraham. Even Jacob and 
Esau were the seed of a barren woman. To Esau God had given Seir, while 
Israel endured the needed discipline in Egypt. Then came the marvel of their 

m Deut. 2.6. 
cf. Amos. 
9. 12. 
Obad. 19. 

24. 6-18. 



n Ex. 23. 28. 

out of Egypt, and ye came unto the sea ; and the Egyp- 
tians pursued after your fathers with chariots and 
horsemen unto the Red Sea. And they cried unto Je- 
hovah, and he put darkness between you and the Egyp- 
tians, and he brought the sea upon them, and it covered 
them : yea, your eyes have seen what I did in Egypt : 
and ye dwelt in the wilderness many days. And I 
brought you into the land of the Amorites who dwelt 
beyond Jordan ; and they fought with you, and I gave 
them into your hand, that ye might possess the land ; 
and I destroyed them from before you. And Balak the 
son of Zippor arose and fought against Israel, and sent 
and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you ; and I 
would not hearken unto Balaam, and he blessed you 
altogether ; and I delivered you out of his hand. And 
ye crossed Jordan, and came unto Jericho ; and the 
masters of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, and 
the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and 
the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite : and I gave 
them into your hand. And I sent the " hornet before you, 
which drove them out from before you, [as] the two kings 
of the Amorites : not with thy sword nor with thy bow. 
And I gave into your hand a land for which ye labored 
not, and cities which ye builded not ; and ye dwell 
therein ; of the vineyards and oliveyai-ds which ye 
planted not ye eat. Now therefore, fear Jehovah, and 
serve him in integrity and truth : and put away the 
"gods which your fathers served beyond the River and 
in Egypt ; and serve ye Jehovah. But if it be evil in 
your eyes to serve Jehovah, choose ye this day whom 
ye will serve ; whether the gods that your fathers who 
were beyond the River served, or the gods of the Amo- 
rites in whose land ye are dwelling ; but as for me and 
my house, we will serve Jehovah. 

And the people answered and said. Far be it from us 
that we should forsake Jehovah, to serve other gods ; 
for Jehovah our God is he who brought us up and our 
fathers, fi-om the land of Egypt, out of the house of 
bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, 
and preserved us in all the way in which we went, and 
among all the peoples thi'ough the midst of whom we 
passed ; and Jehovah drave out from before us all the 
peoples, even the Amorites who dwelt in the land: 

deliverance, the days of sojourn in the wilderness, the dispossession of the Amor- 
ite kings, and the spiritual conflict when Balaam, after all the history of failure, 
sought how to curse and ended but in blessing them ; finally, the possession of 
the land they now enjoyed. After all this, Joshua bids them, if there could be 
doubt, to make up their minds whom they would serve, the idols their fathers 
had served beyond the river, the gods of the Canaanites in whose land they dwelt, 
or else Jehovah : his own choice for himself and his house was already made. 

In result the people renew the covenant, and a great stone is set up under 
an oak in memorial of it. It is still the legal covenant, and all ia suspended 

OeD. 35. 2. 



24. 18-33. 

therefore we will serve Jehovah, for he is our God. 
And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve Jeho- 
vah : for he is a holy God ; he is a jealous God : he 
will not forgive your p transgressions nor your sins. If 
ye forsake Jehovah and serve strange gods, then he 
will turn and do you evil, and consume you, after he 
hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, 
Nay, but we will serve Jehovah. And Joshua said 
unto the people. Ye are witnesses against yourselves, 
that ye have chosen you Jehovah, to serve him. And 
they said. We are witnesses. Now therefore [said he] 
put away the strange gods that are among you, aud 
incline your heart unto Jehovah, God of Israel. And 
the people said vmto Joshua, Jehovah our God will we 
serve, and to his voice will we hearken. So Joshua made 
a covenant with the people that day, and made them 
a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua 
«wi*ote these words in the book of the law of God, and 
took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak 
that is by the sanctuary of Jehovah. And Joshua said 
unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness 
unto us ; for it hath heard all the woi'ds of Jehovah that 
he spake unto us : and it shall be a witness among you, 
lest ye deny your God. And Joshua sent the people 
away, every man to his inheritance. 

And it came to pass after these things that Joshua 
the son of Nvm, the servant of Jehovah, died, being one 
hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in 
the border of his inheritance, in Timnath-serah, that is in 
mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. 

And Israel served Jehovah all the days of ''Joshua, 
and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, and 
who knew all the woi'ks of Jehovah that he had done 
for Israel. And the bones of Joseph, which the chil- 
dren of Israel had brought out of Egypt buried they in 
Shechem, in the piece of ground that Jacob bought of 
the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hun- 
dred kesitahs*: and it became the inheritance of the 
children of Joseph. And Eleazar the son of Aaron 
died, and they buried him in the hill of Phinehas his 
son, which was given him in mount Ephraim. 

p Ex. 23. 21. 

q Deut. 31. 


* A kesitah Ls supposed to be about four shekels. 

upon an obedience at the best how fitful ! The stone in its lifelessness would 
abide, more certainly far than the living tree under which it was f5et up, Lsrael's 
picture at that moment. For the present it is well, and they depart, every one 
in peace to his inheritance. 

Joshua dies, his influence lasting till the end of his generation — a significant 
limitation. Joseph his father's bones are buried at Shechem. Lastly, Eleazar 
dies : and these three graves are a sign that the Great Deliverer has not yet 
come. The types are jjut the shadow, not the sn])stance : which yet for faith 
they point on towards. Thank God, for us the Deliverer is come, although not 
even yet the full deliverance. 

JOSHUA. 179 


The Typical Inteepeetation, especially of the Cities, Boundaeies, 
AND Teibes of Israel. 

For those who have carefully examined what has been before ns, it can hardly 
be needful to insist further on the truth and necessity of the typical interpreta- 
tion. To some extent, indeed, all who accept Scripture as inspired of God must, 
of coui-se, accept this. The ' ' holy places made with hands ' ' are thus expressly 
declared to be "the figures of the true" (Heb. ix. 24); certain events in Israel's 
history are declared to have "happened to them for types" (1 Cor. x. 11, marg.); 
the law in general is said to have a "shadow of good things to come" (Heb. x.l); 
and, in a similar way speak many well-known scriptures. Moreover, of some 
things plainly declared to be types, we have no inspired interpretation, as in the 
case of the passage of the sea, just as some of the New Testament parables are left 
for spiritual wisdom to interpret by the help of the context, and of truth found 

In the application of Melchizedek's histoiy (Heb. vii.) we find how minutely 
significant these histories may be. Names are translated, the very order of their 
occuiTcnce insisted on, meaning is given to the omissions as well as the jwsitive 
statements, in complete accordance with the idea of verbal inspiration, and the 
prophetic significance running through the whole. And on this verisimilitude 
between the Old Testament history and a pervasive typical meaning to be rec- 
ognized in it, the apostle grounds his appeal even to foolish Galatians, who, if 
they desired to be imder the law, should hear the law speaking to them in tliis 
way (Gal. iv. 21, seq.) The historical books, from Joshua to Kiugs at least, 
were thus by the Jews entitled " the former prophets." 

The sketch of the Pentateuch already given is an absolute demonstration that 
the types contained in these books are not scattered at random through them, 
but arranged in an orderly manner, the books at large, and every section of 
them, illustrating this. They are the pictures of spiritual realities, needing and 
finding their explanation elsewhere; in general, in the New Testament : as 
pictures, speaking for themselves to the spiritual mind, — of course when the 
light is thrown upon them. They then become illuminated with a strange 
glory, are lifted from simple history into prophecy, while they confirm, in this 
way, the history itself, as written with the pen of divine inspiration. The Old 
Testament witnesses thus to the New; and the New also to the Old : what other- 
wise might seem trivial becomes invested with a new dignity ; the past reveals 
the future, and admonishes and encourages the present. 

To all this, moreover, the numerical structure adds its confirmation in every 
part, testing it by the imposition of conditions to which nothing but the truth 
could submit itself with success. And in Joshua, at least, we have found these 
symbolic numbers governing even catalogues of names and sections of a bound- 
ary line. The wonder of all which will be no doubt against it in the minds of 
many, producing a vague suspicion, at least, on the part of those even who are 
prepared, perhaps, to admit a certain truth in such spiritual mathematics within 
what they would deem safe bounds. Let us see, then, if the limits are safe : it 
is quite possible to test the matter in so rigid a way as to satisfy the most skep- 
tical — where skepticism is not of the heart : for which no proof of this kind can 
be expected to avail. 

I have elsewhere* brought forward nine names from among Judah's cities 

* " From Amam to Biziothiah : A Record of the Soul's Progress, and a Witness to the Word." 

180 JOSHUA. Appendix. 

as an argument in this way. For simplicity, both in the names and numbers, 
I can find no better now ; but we can test them more exhaustively : let us do 

The names are found, Josh. xv. 26-28; as cities of Judah, they should give 
material for " praise " on the part of the people of God. They are among the 
cities of the South which sjjeak of the power of God in behalf of His own : as a 
third group of these, they give us the work of the Spirit in them. The names 
are nine in number; and nine seems always to be a 3 x 3 : we have three stages, 
then, of this work, and three names on each stage. The first stage of the Spirit's 
work in us is undoubtedly that of new birth : the first three names are — 

1. Amam, "mother," or "their mother," — referring to our origin from Eve: 
"how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" Here is the need of new 

2. Shema, ' ' report' ' ; for ' ' faith cometh by a report, and the report by the 
word of God." (Rom. x. 17, Gk.). And thus — 

3. Moladah, " birth." For " we are all the children of God by faith in Christ 
Jesus. ' ' 

Here the truth is simple, and the numerals exact. One is the number of 
primacy, so of paternity, beginning, origin; two is the number of testimony; 
three, of resurrection and of the Spirit. As to the meanings of the words, only 
the first can be for a moment questioned; "mother" is, however, strictly legit- 
imate from the Hebrew, and, indeed, the only rendering that it would seem to 
countenance, and is mostly accepted. 

The second stage is that of which the seventh of Eomans speaks, — "deliver- 
ance from the law." And here we have — 

1. Hazar-gadda, "inclosure of conflict," the dominion of law in the conscience 
shutting us up to this ; next, the way of deliverance — 

2. Heshmon, "quiet reckoning," — faith, not effort, not fighting; and thus we 
find — 

3. Beth-pelet, the "house of escape." 

The doctrine it is not here the place to dwell on. The numbers empha.size, 
1, the dominion of law; 2, deliverance; 3, the divelling-place, the heart's home, 
which is in Christ, where Christ is, — in each case what is of main importance. 
As to the names, only Heshmon could there be any doubt of I take it as a 
compound word from hashah, to be still, and nutnah, to " measure," or " reckon," 
in its participial form. 

The third stage is that of " realized sanctification,"or of being " in the Spirit, " 
where we have — 

1. As implied in the dominion of the Spirit, Hazar-shiial, the "jackal-pen," 
the fettering of the flesh, though still in us; as it is said, "Walk in the Spirit, 
and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." 

2. Beersheba, the "well of the oath," naturally speaks of assurance as con- 
nected with the living water, the Spirit of God as "witness" for Christ in the 
soul; while — 

3. Biziothiah, "among Jah's olives," reminds us of the indwelling of the Spirit 
in the Christian; for the olive is that in which the oil resides. Here the names 
of this seel ion end. There can be no question as to the meaning, and that of the 
numerals is simple and clear. 

Now let any one try but to put these words in a different order, what would 
be the result? Confusion at once, and in every way; nor could any power of 
imagination avail to rescue from this. Leave out but one of them, you will find 
there is a manifest gap in the meaning. Nay, I will go further, and say that, 
of all the many names upon these lists, I doubt whether there could be any sub- 
stituted for any here, that would convey the meaning that these do: so little is 
there of chance or of guesswork about it. Every number has its place necessarily 
in connection with the name attached. Every name must fill its place in its 

Appendix. JOSHUA, 181 

section; every section must similarly fill its place in connection with the series 
as a whole; this, again, finds its place as a third group among the cities of the 
South; these cities of the South have their meaning as the first division of the 
cities of Judah: and so we might go on. If this be chance, I confess I do not 
see why letters throvra out at random should not form themselves into words 
and intelligible sentences. If it be imagination, I cannot understand why it 
should be able to move so readily in certain ways, and not at all in others. Why 
should the imagiuation be so easily able to make " Amam, Shema, Moladah," 
speak intelligibly, but not Moladah, Amam, Shema; nor yet Shema, Amam, 
Moladah; nor Moladah, Shema, Amam; nor Shema, Moladah, Amam; nor 
Amam, Moladah, Shema ? Of the nine names together there are 362,880 possible 
combinations, and just so many chances to one against their being found in this 
precise order. 

And how is it that, burdened with so many conditions as we have found, 
imagination should be able to marshal hundreds of names in constant obedience 
to its desires, and transform a barren catalogue into images of exquisite beauty, 
bathed in heaven's own sunlight, and musical with anthems of devout wor- 

But this is allegory; and it is decided by many, even in the face of Scripture 
itself, that allegorizing is but fancy, pure and simple, — specious and alluring, 
but dangerous, and to be shunned ! It is certain that Paul says of parts of 
Abraham's history, " which things are an allegory." It is certain "that one book 
of Scripture is either "allegory " or a love-song. On the other hand, it is most 
certain that there has been a profanation of allegorj' on the part of many, from 
Origen to the present time, which has roused many against all allegorical inter- 
pretation. They "concluded," says Calvin, "that the literal sense was too 
mean and poor, and that under the outward bark of the letter there lurked 
deeper mysteries, which cannot be extracted but by beating out allegories. God 
visited this profanation by a just judgment, when He suftered the pure meaning 
of Scripture to be buried under false interpretations. I acknowledge that Scrip- 
ture is a most rich and inexhaustible fountain of all wisdom ; but I deny that 
its fertility consists in the various meanings which any man at his pleasure 
may assign. Let us know, then, that the true meaning of Scripture is the 
natural and obvious meaning; and let us embrace and abide by it resolutely." 

To which Schaff adds: "This style of interpretation is not exposition, but 
imposition : the meaning is not read out, but read in. History, the grammar, 
and the dictionary, are the proper aids in Bible study; not the subjective 
imagination." * 

Yet he has to admit that "the apostle Paul himself gives instances of the 
sacred allegory, although his use of it is so exceptional and so restrained that 
it does not countenance it as a method!" 

Is this true, that it is so exceptional and restrained? — or that any fair exam- 
ination of Scripture will show that it does not countenance the method? If by 
that is meant, indeed, the setting aside of the literal sense, "the natural and 
obvious meaning," then, of coui-se, it does not countenance this; but Paul's 
allegorizing did not either. If there is meant by it simply that there are often 
deeper meanings than the natural and obvious one, every type in the Old Tes- 
tament stands really as proof And going back of the legal system to the book 
of Genesis, we shall find, from the beginning, God both in .speech and act choos- 
ing to convey truth to us after this manner. What else does the ordinance of 
the Sabbath show in the light of the "sabbatism that remains for the people of 
God " ? (Heb. iv. 9.) What, the first paradise, in view of the "tree of life, which 
is in the midst of the paradise of God"? (Rev. ii. 7.) Adam is thus, as head of 
his race, a type of Christ the last Adam (Rom. v. 14; 1 Cor. xt. 45); and the con- 
sequences, on either side, are compared by the apostle. So his relation to Eve 

• Schaff-Herzog Kncyclopsedla : ». v. " Allegorical Interpretation of the Bible." 

182 JOSHUA. Appendix. 

represents, we are told, that of Christ to the Church (Eph. v. 32). In the history 
of the fall, the serpent and his doom are not to be taken in the simple letter; 
nor is the bruised heel of the woman's seed; Abel's sacrifice, in being typical, 
is simply allegorical. Going on to the flood, the salvation of Noah and his house 
are declared by Peter to be typical (1 Pet. iii. 21); the rainbow is an allegorical 
"sigu " of the covenant with the new earth. Abraham's history has connected 
with it the elaborate and minute allegory of Melchizedek; the covenant as to 
his seed is sealed by an allegorical vision (ch. xv.); Sarah and Hagar, Ishmael 
and Isaac, are all allegorical; circumcision is a sign; Isaac, after his offering is 
received back "in a figure" from the dead (Heb. xi. 19). Bethel speaks alle- 
gorically, by its ladder, to Jacob; as does the wrestling with the angel upon his 
return to Canaan. The names of Judah, Zebulon, Issachar, Dan, and Gad, are 
all allegorized in their father's prophecy. The dreams of the butler and baker, 
and of Pharaoh afterwards, are all pure allegory. 

Yet allegorizing is not countenanced as a method ! On the other hand, we 
may surely assert that to those who go so far it will not be possible to stop at 
this point. The limits are evidently not marked off: a Joseph separated from 
his brethren, exalted among the Gentiles, afterward receiving in the time of 
their necessity his brethren again, — a Benjamin, son of his mother's sorrow, but 
of his father's right hand, — compel us to go further; while the further we go 
the wider the field becomes. It is not those who have trodden this path who 
will be led to believe that it is not a practicable or a safe one. 

The extension of the method is, at the same time, its safeguard. Partial 
views have been the hindrance, or a main one, to consistency ; and the knowl- 
edge of the distinctive features of the book, with their divisions and numerical 
structure gives a unity of apprehension most favorable to clear vision. Every 
specific type finds its place in relation to the whole; and there are checks and 
counterchecks of all sorts to mere unbridled fancy. We have seen, as to the 
names of Israel's cities, how well they guard their meaning, and how impossible 
it seems to read what thoughts we please into them. They speak very definitely, 
in general; even as to the meanings of the words leaving very little margin for 
difference of understanding. The most part are beyond controversy, and every 
name ascertained preserves the same meaning in any after-reciirrence, which in 
these lists is not at all infrequent. The cities given to Levi, at the close of all 
this part, are a rearrangement, almost entirely, of what is already familiar to 
us; and where, therefore, there is absolutely no room for any change of meaning 
anywhere : a most rigid and perfect test of accuracy, which they most perfectly 

It is earnestly hoped that the interpretation of all this part will receive the 
patient study vehich it demands, and which it will again so well repay. Only 
in this way can it be expected that any well-grounded conviction of its truth 
will be attained; which, when realized, will not only yield abundant instruc- 
tion to him who seeks it, but also will confirm and deepen in him the appre- 
hension of the perfect — minute — inspiration of Scripture, and make him better 
able to draw from the divine fullness which it everywhere contains. It had 
been intended, in further proof, to append here a brief review of the truths 
which the cities and boundaries of the tribes of Israel present to us, and the 
relation in which they are found to one another; but to do this aright would 
occupy almost as much space as has been already given to them. This must lie 
left, therefore, to the student of the Word to follow out for himself, with the clue 
afforded, — a task which will be found one of peculiar interest: for it is in this 
connection and relation of divine truths to each other that these types find so 
much the power for instruction and blessing for the soul. May we have the 
diligent heart only that shall be made rich ! 



JUDGES gives us the history of the people now brought into the 
land, but under the legal covenant which they have assumed to 
themselves — a covenant under which no man may stand. Joshua's 
day past, a breach with God is soon apparent, the effects of which show 
themselves more and more. The nation disintegrates. The tribes fall 
asunder, or are only one in bondage to a common enemy ; and though 
God raises up judges and is with the judges for the work of deliverance, 
even these fail increasingly and iheir work becomes correspondingly 
partial and ineffective, Samson at the close even leaving them in cap- 
tivity, which lasts to Samuel's day. 

For us the typical application is but too plain. If Joshua has shown 
us the portion and blessing of a heavenly people. Judges gives us with- 
out any doubt the history of that people. The Church visible is here 
seen in its decline and corruption, its broken condition and captivity for 
its sins to different forms of error and evil, along with God's way of 
deliverance from these exemplified in many partial deliverances. The 
coming of the Lord, the only complete and final deliverance, could not, 
of course, be pictured here. 

The divisions of the book are three only : — 

Div. 1. (Chap, i.-iii. 4.) The Rebellion of the Chosen People. 

Div. 2. (Chap. iii. 5-xvi.) Bondage and Deliverances. 

Div. 3. (Chap, xvii.-xxi.) The Corruption at Heart manifest. 


Judah : the 
ty of God, 
and His 
for faith. 

1.(1-8.) God 


DIVISION 1. Chap, i.-iii. 4.) 
The Rebellion of the Chosen People. 

(1. 1-20.) 

Subdivision 1. (Chap, i.-ii. 5.) 
Mingling vnth the Nations to be Dispossessed. 

(I. 1-20.) 

'OW it came to pass after the "death of Joshua 
that the children of Israel asked Jehovah, say- 
ing, * Who shall go up first for us unto the Ca- 
naauite, to fight against him ? And Jehovah said, 'Judah 
shall go up : behold, I have given t"he land into his hand. 
And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, ''Come up 
with me into my lot, and let us fight against the Canaan- 


a Josh. 24. 

Josh. 1. 1. 
Gen. 50. 24. 
ctr. Rom. 

6 cf. 1 Sam. 
ctr. ch. 20. 
18, 23, 28. 
1 Kl. 22. 5- 

c Nu. 2. 9. 
Nu. 10. 14. 

Eccl. 4. 9- 

Div. 1. 
The firet division of the book, as introductory to the history of captivity and 
deliverances which fills the body of it, has evidently two parts. Israel had 
been warned that, if they mingled themselves with the nations, they would be 
led to serve their gods. The fulfillment of this is what is now shown: in the 
first part the mingling, in the second the open breach with the Lord and fall 
into idolatry. The truth of God abides amid the untruth of the people. He is 
justified in His sayings, and clear when He is judged. 

SUBD. 1. 

1. There are here five sections, in which the grading of the lessons is evident, 
and the commencing decline apparent even from the first. Judah, the leader in 
the wilderness, the leader, too, in the settlement of the land, the lion-tribe of 
Jacob's prophecy, comes before us as the leader now, and that by divine appoint- 
ment; and yet to illustrate this. At the same time, the sovereignty and sufficiency 
of God are illustrated also in the most striking way, that we may see there is no 
failure upon His part. With the people it begins, indeed, at the highest, — not, 
as we might suppose, with the lowest: and this is noteworthy, — a thing of which 
Ave have many examples in Scripture; for high and low are alike dependent upon 
divine grace, and in the littleness of humanity not far removed from one another. 

(i.) Israel are at first one ; and in that subjection to God, which is true unity: 
"Who shall go up for tis against the Canaanites first," they ask, " to fight against 
them?" And the Lord not only names the champion, but assures success: 
"Judah shall go up; behold, I have delivered the land into his hand." We have 
before seen what is the reason, spiritually, of Judah being thus in the front ; and 
that the spirit of "praise" is the spirit of power. Necessarily: for it puts God 
fii"3t, and implies devotedness to Him, — a joy in obedience which gives courage 
and enthusiasm. The cause is Grod's, and it must prosper. If Judah be weak, 
Israel as a whole must languish. 

But Judah is, in fact, weak already. The land is pledged to him by Grod, and 
to him alone. The word is precise, and none may add to it any more than 
diminish from it: to add to it is really to diminish from it. Yet Judah turns to 
Simeon, his brother, for help, as if the promise of God were not enough. "Come 
with me," he says, "into my lot, and let us fight against the Canaanites; and 
I will go with thee into thy lot." 

1. 3-10. 



2. (9-15.) 
The activi- 
ties of faith. 

ite, and I also will go with thee into thy lot; and "Sim- 
eon went with him. And Judah went up ; and ■''Jeho- 
vah gave the Canaanite and the Perizzite into their 
hand: and they smote them in ^'Bezek, ten thousand 
men. And they found Adonibezek in Bezek, and 
fought against him, and smote the Canaanite and the 
Perizzite. And Adonibezek fled ; and they pursued 
after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and 
his great toes. And Adonibezek said, Seventy kings, 
with their thumbs and their great toes cut off", gleaned 
under my table ; ''as I have done, God has requited me. 
And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. 
And the children of Judah fought against 'Jerusalem, 
and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, 
and set the city on fire, 

^ And afterward the children of Judah went down to 
fight against the •'Canaanite dwelling in the hill-coun- 
try, and in the south, and in the low country. And 
Judah went against the Canaanite that dwelt in * He- 
bron, (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjath- 
arba,) and they smote Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai. 

e ctr. G«n. 
49. 5. 
cf. Josh. 

/ ver. 19, 22 

gcf.l Sam. 

h </.Lev.24. 

Esth. 7. 10. 
Esth. 9. 1- 

Kev. 18. 6. 
ctr. 1 Pet. 

i </. Josh.16. 

ver. 21. 
1 Chr. 11. 

Luke 1. 39. 

k Josh. 15. 
13, 14. 
cf Gen. 13. 
18, etc. 
Nu. 13. 22. 

A little thing this will seem even to most, in a day when men supplement 
God's word after their own pleasure. But is it not, in fact, unbelief in God's 
truth or power, that is at work in it? Simeon, Judah's brother in a special way, 
may be for him the most suited of all companions, and God eveu has linked 
their inheritance, in a special way, together : but all this is no argument, if 
God's word is to be followed, and be the perfect word that indeed it is. Simeon, 
"hearing," stands, as we have seen, for communion, which all right "hearing " 
surely is; and communiou, can it not aid worship against the Canaanites, — in 
the spiritual warfare to which God's Israel is called ? Yes, in its place, but not 
out of it; wherever the word of Grod is given its place also, for what communion 
can there be apart from this ? And do we not need the reminder that commu- 
nion and the authority of the Word must go together, and that what purports to 
be communion can never really be made to eke out a worship which has lost the 
simplicity of obedience which certifies it to be truly that. We shall find, accord- 
ingly, in due time, the loss of power which is the result. 

Such things are not, however, always at once discovered. Judah and Simeon 
go together, and the Canaanites and Perizzites are delivered into their hand: 
they smite in Bezek a host ten thousand strong. In Bezek they find, also, Adoni- 
bezek, whom they pursue and maim, inflicting the judgment of God upon him 
for cruelties of this kind inflicted upon others. He himself owns it as this, — a 
remarkable witness to Israel of how and why God was against the Canaanites; 
and that He whose judgments they were executing was over all. His name goes 
with the lesson: Bezek* means "fettered," and so were these hosts that they 
destroyed ; Adonibezek, ' ' lord of Bezek, ' ' it being doubtless his chief city, but 
thus also and literally, "a lord in fetters." So it is with the freest, when in 
opposition to Grod, and with the mightiest, in His hand. 

He is brought to Jerusalem, only to die there; and the city itself is smitten 
with the sword and burnt; for the "foundation of peace" must be righteous- 
ness, and the Jebusite city is only an hypocrisy, though few may believe this 

(ii.) Judah proceeds to other victories; and here we have the repetition of a 
story familiar to us, mostly in the words in which it has been given us before. 

' Bezeq, literally " In a fetter.' 



1. 11-16 

3. (16.) The 


nest in Ju- 


And from thence he went against the inhabitants of De- 
bir; now the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher. 
And "'Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher and 
taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to 
wife. And Othniel, the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger 
brother, took it ; and he gave him Achsah his daughter 
to wife. And it came to pass, when she came, that she 
urged him to ask of her father the field. And she 
sprang down from the ass ; and Caleb said unto her, 
"What wouldst thou? And she said unto him. Give 
me a blessing ; for a land of the "south hast thou given 
me : give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave 
her the upper springs and the lower springs. 

*And the children of the ^Kenite, Moses' father-in- 
law, went up from the «city of palms with the chil- 
dren of Judah into the wilderness of Judah which is in 

« Josh. 15.7, 

m Josh. 15. 

n cf. Esth. 

Jno. 14. 13. 
Mat. 13. 12. 

o cf. Psalm 
126. 4. 
Ps. 63. 1. 

p. ch. 4. 11. 
1 Sa. 15. 6. 
1 Sa. 30. 29. 

q Deut.34.3. 
ch. 3. 13. 

The taking of Hebron and the destruction of the Anakiin, which had been before 
ascribed to Caleb, are here ascribed to Judah, the tribe to which Caleb belongs; 
but Caleb himself appears iu the next incident, in which Othniel and Achsah 
also are found as before. Scripture is not afraid of a repetition which emphasizes 
God's delight iu the achievements of His people, among which Achsah's request 
for tlie water-springs figures alongside of Othniel's capture of Debir. How little 
should we, perhaps, think of jjuttiug these things together! And, indeed, the 
spiritual interpretation must be found in order rightly to understand it. Then 
Othniel, the "lion of God," is the type of the heroism of faith, which, like the 
son of Kenaz, finds strength iu Another, and its helpmeet in that simplicity 
which claims and receives the fullness of the Spirit for making good its portion 
in the land. These two must come together in the Canaan-dweller e\en now; 
and where they are found, a "book of remembrance " will not be wanting. And 
still the rule is, "Conquer, and work the laud"; but it must be said to-day, 
there are few Othniels, fewer Achsahs, fewest of all those in whom the two are 
united. The Lord increase their race! 

Thus, as we have had in the first part of this section the sovereignty and suffi- 
ciency of God for His people, we have iu the second part the relationships of 
faith iu those who apprehend it. And let us remember that Caleb, Othniel, 
Achsah, are Judeans — worshipers. Worship has to do intimately with the things 
here spoken of, which test and manifest it. With Caleb, the "whole-hearted," 
this is easily seen; but we have found, also, before, how Judah shines iu the 
battlefield, and the quiet activity which Achsah implies — Achsah, or "anklet," 
she of the decovnted foot ? — is not less really intelligible. Altogether we have, 
on the whole, a bright picture to begin Judges with. Even in the next section, 
however, the clouds are gathering. 

(iii.) We find here notice of the Kenite settling among the children of Judah 
in the South. They are the Midianite tribe out of which Moses' Avife had 
come, thus descendants of Abraham by Keturah. linked in this double way with 
Israel, and who, upon Moses' invitation, had accompanied them into the land. 
But they never unite themselves with the people of God, though settling among 
them, and are viewed in Balaam's prophecy as separate to the last. Tlie play 
upon the name there — "thou puttest thy nest {ken) in the rock" — shows, 
evidently, the meaning of it. They are Midianites, men of the world, but not 
at strife with Israel, as others of their race. Nay, they make a nest for them- 
selves among them, and it is for the nest they are there. They come now and 
dwell on the southern border of Judah in the wilderness, their natural home, 
south of Aratl, the place of the " wild ass. " They keep their wilderness manners 
in the land, — are not at home there, though they may like the security it affords. 

4. (17.) The 
world ex- 

5. (18-20.) 
for meas- 

The Benja- 

mlte with 

the Jebu- 



r ch. 18. 1. 

s Zeph. 2. 4. 

t 1 Sam. 5. 

u ctr. Josh. 
Phil. 4. 18. 

V. Josh. 17. 
cf. ch. 4. 3. 
Deut. 20. 1. 

w Josh. 14. 

X cf. ver. 8. 

y Deut. 20. 
16, 17. 

1. 16-21. JUDGES. 

the south of Arad ; and they came and dwelt with the 

* And Judah went with Simeon his brother ; and they 
smote the Canaanite dwelling at Zephath, and executed 
the ban upon it ; and the name of the city v/as called 

^And Judah took ""Gaza and her territory, and »Ash- 
kelon and her territory, and 'Ekron and her territory. 
And Jehovah was with Judah, and he took possession 
of the hill-country, but "could not drive out the inhab- 
itants of the valley, because they had "chariots of iron. 
And they gave Hebron to " Caleb, as Moses had said, 
and he drove out from thence the three sons of Anak. 

(I. 21.) 

2. And the "= Jebusite dwelling in Jerusalem the chil- 
dren of Benjamin did not drive out; but the Jebusite 
dwelleth " with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem 
to this day. 

All this describes but too well the condition of many who attach themselves, in 
every dispensation, to the people of Grod, yet are not of them. The victories of 
the children of Judah invite them and make way for them ; but their presence 
is no strength, and no sign for good. 

(iv.) Next we find Judah with Simeon in his lot. Hormah here had been so 
named before, being in the territory of Arad when the children of Israel over- 
threw its king and executed the ban upon his cities (Num. xxi. 3). There we 
looked at it as the representation of the power of the world in Satan's hand to 
hinder the progress of the people of God. In the time that had elapsed it had 
revived again, — how easily the world recovers power! — and- now is called 
Zephath, "overlaying." This is what the world is, indeed, — an overlaying, 
bright and glittering enough, of what is devoted to destruction, a crust over the 
curse. It is the part of Simeon (communion) to take off the false show and 
reveal the evil, — to make Zephath Hormah, as it really is. 

(v.) Judah goes on to conquest; and now three of the Philistine cities fall, — 
Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron. Jehovah is with him: but then, most strangely as it 
would seem, we hear of a limit to the power which he displays. "Jehovah was 
with Judah, and he obtained possession of the mountains, but the inhabitants 
of the valley were not to be driven out, because they had chariots of iron ' ' ! 
What a collocation that seems! Omnipotence was stopped, as it would seem, by 
chariots of iron; and so often it does seem, — nay, in a sense, even it is true; for 
the removal of difficulties is often conditioned upon the simplicity of a faith 
which (alas !) is so little simple. Had not God said that He had delivered the land 
into Judah's hand? Yes; and Judah had turned round to Simeon, his brother, 
for help, as if no promise had been given. Judah has measured the might of 
Jehovah ; and Jehovah measures the strength put forth for him. Thus the divine 
ways are equal; and Judah loses the fullness of a blessing he cannot grasp. May 
we give heed to this ! 

On the other hand, it is in contrast, yet in conformity with this, that we are 
here reminded of Caleb's complete success against the terrible sons of Anak. 
Faith shall not suffer defeat, be men at large — be the people of God, even — 
unbelieving as they may. 

(2.) Benjamin now follows Judah and Simeon, but has only one verse devoted 
to him here. And in it we find him — little as Judah may show us the ideal of 
faith — in contrast even with Judah. This is marked: for Judah has already 
taken Jerusalem and burned it with fire, as we have seen; while Benjamin, 
without an effort that we read of, permits the Jebusites to dwell there with 




1. 22-26. 

Luz trans- 
formed to 
Bethel, but 


(I. 22-26.) 

3. And the house of * Joseph, they also went up to 
Bethel, and Jehovah was with them. And the house 
of Joseph sent to " espy Bethel ; and the name of the 
city before was Luz. And the guards saw a man com- 
ing forth out of the city ; and they said unto him. Show 
us now the entrance of the city, and we will *show 
thee mercy. And he showed them the entrance to the 
city; and they smote the city with the edge of the 
sword; but the man and all his family they let go. 
And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and 
built a 'city, and called the name of it Luz: that is its 
name unto this day. 

2 Josh. 16. 
1, etc. 

a Deutl.22. 
Josh. 2. 1. 

blSa. 30.15. 

c c/.Gal.5,9. 

themselves.* This, too, while Benjamin was the warrior tribe, as is plain in 
all the notices of it. The failure is thus mere indifference; and the breach of 
the Lord's express command is as plain as can be. 

No need for many words about it : yet how important that it should be here 
— that we should see the true condition of things as we open the book. That 
this failure is in Benjamin also, when we realize the spiritual significance of Ben- 
jamin as Joshua has declared it to us, deepens the meaning. Benjamin is the 
apprehension of Christ, as having our place in Him — being identified with Him ; 
the knowledge of the new man, as expressed in Colossians, "where there is nei- 
ther Jew nor Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in 
all." Benjamin in alliance with Canaanites is the utter contradiction and oppo- 
site of all this. The forgetfulness of our place in Christ is the core of all unfaith- 
fulness to God, of refusal of His judgment upon the world, of toleration of what 
is evil in His sight, of false associations and inconsistency of walk. Thus the rela- 
tion of this to the long tale of evil that follows in the book is unmistakably plain. 

(3.) The third section seems to continue this assurance of Benjamin's weak- 
ness. Bethel belongs to Benjamin, as we know; yet it is the house of Joseph 
that takes it out of the enemy's hand. Lying upon Ephraim's border, there is, 
of course, a reason for this : but the spiritual reason always underlies the natu- 
ral. Bethel, we are reminded, was, in Canaanitish hands, Luz ; and the cap- 
ture of the city was, of course, its transformation. "Separation," which Luz 
means, has many Canaanite forms. The selfishness of the natural heart makes 
necessarily for disintegration in the world ; and while it may seek alliance for 
its own ends, this is in itself but a form of division. This is only the effect of 
being away from God : one must then, because without faith in Him, toil in 
self-service. But because the world is away from God, "separation" is neces- 
sary ; "be not unequally yoked together" results from "touch not the unclean 
thing." The line must be indeed drawn, but so drawn that God shall be owned 
and honored, and then Luz becomes Bethel, as we have elsewhere seen, the rela- 
tionship of God's house is capable of being realized (2 Cor. vi. 14-18). It is 
simple enough how Joseph may help Benjamin in this — Joseph, not simply 
Ephraim : Manasseh's earnest pressing on is needed to give the full Joseph-char- 
acter. Seeking to win Christ, all alien things dropoff; and in that path we 
shall find none but those who seek Him. Bethel with all its blessedness is thus 
surely attained. 

But there is another lesson in this place also. One Canaanite is spared out of 
the city ; and there is no similarity here to Kahab's case, no faith resembling 
hers. He does not take his place henceforth with Israel, but goes away into the 
land of the Hittites, and among these "sons of terror" a new Luz springs up. 
The trea, though cut down to the root, may revive from the root ; and the old 

• Jerusalem lay on the border, between these two tribes, the main part of the city, with the citadel, 
lying In Benjamin. It may have been only what lay within their boundary that Judah burned. 
The citadel was strong, as we see, In David's time. 

1. 27. 

1. Manas- 
seh: failure 
In concea- 
tered en- 


(I. 27-36.) 

4. ^And ''Manasseh did not take possession of Beth- 
shean and her dependencies, nor Taanach and her de- 
pendencies, nor [drive out] the inhabitants of Dor and 
her dependencies, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and 
her dependencies, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and 


d cf. Nu. 1. 
34, 35 with 
Nu. 26. 34. 

error, left as no longer formidable, may even go afar to sojourn, yet survive and 
have to be met once more. Indeed, with how many of these Canaanitish cities 
do we find it so ! 

{i.) What follows is a dismal story of failure. In part a repetition from the 
book of Joshua, it brings together the items of God's bill of account against the 
people, as divided among the tribes, six of which are here named. It does not 
follow that the rest were guiltless, however ; indeed, Benjamin has been already 
spoken of; nor does it follow that all the failure even of the tribes mentioned is 
reported here. Thtit Tyre is not among the cities named as remaining in the 
hands of the Canaanites, seems a proof against this, hardly to be donbted ; 
Eudor is found also in Joshua (xvii. 11), and not here. Those enumerated are 
given as representative, and with a higher meaning running through all : and 
this we think can be established, although some of the names are difficult to 

(i.) Manasseh heads the tribes on this accusing list ; significantly enough if 
we remember that Manasseh stands for progress, the forgetting what is behind 
and pressing on. Yet he has a record of five cities left to the Canaanite with 
depending villages, and that when he had the power also to drive them out. 
How could the loss of energy be more plainly shown ? 

The names are, of course, significant : first, Bethshean, "the house of quiet," 
which as connected with Manasseh and with Issachar (Josh. xvii. 11), would speak 
of that practical rest of heart which a right walk furnishes to the one who presses 
on. There is nothing to draw such an one back from the pursuit of what is be- 
fore him : no entanglement with the world around, no alarm of conscience, or 
need of self-occupation. The loss of Bethshean is thus a most serious one ; and 
yet how may, in fact, a failed Manasseh consent to such a loss, bribed by some 
dishonorable bargain with the Canaanite ! 

In the second place we have Taanach, "sandy soil," whose import may be 
seen in its connection with Gath-rimmon among the Levitical cities (Josh. xxi. 
25). Taanach's lesson, as that of the wilderness, is the weaning from other de- 
pendency than upon God alone — a thing again of first importance for a Manas- 
site. But Taanach must be retained or Bethshean cannot be : dependence and 
rest are linked inseparably together. 

We have next Dor, the most obvious meaning of which is "generation." In 
its application it may naturally speak of that limiting of human life which it 
implies : " One generation goeth and another cometh." The word means in its 
first significance a "circle," and a collection of tents in a Bedouin encampment 
(generally circular) is called a dowar ; from which Parkhurst supposes the appli- 
cation to contemporaries. Coming as it does, after a memorial of the wilderness, 
in which under the ban of God a whole Israelitish generation perished, it cannot 
but impress one the more, as intended to convey such meaning. And the brev- 
ity of human life may well impress deeply a Manassite : "So teach us to num- 
ber our days," says the Psalmist, " that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." 
The loss of Dor implies the slipping back into the world's error, gross as it is, of 
ignoring what none can deny, and this is followed naturally by the loss of — 

Ibleam, "it consumes the people," which in the fourth place and in connec- 
tion with the last word, one cannot be at a loss to interpret. Sin is indeed the 
devonrer of the people, mightier than the Balaam whose name here it bears, and 
alas, prevailing how much, against the people of God themselves. Can a child 
of Manasseh forget this also? Surely even too much. None of these cities were 
wholly gone from them, but a rabble of Canaanites had practical possession. 

Megiddo is the last of these names, meaning, I believe, "the manifestation of 



1. 27-30. 

2. Ephra- 
Im: failure 
In increase. 

3. Zebulon : 
&tlure in 

her dependeiicies ; but the Canaanites 'would dwell in 
that land. And it was so that, when Israel was strong, 
they made the Canaanites •''tributary, and did not ut- 
terly drive them out. 

^ And "Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites that 
dwelt in Gezer, but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer 
among them. 

^"Zebulon did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, 
nor the inhabitants of Nahalol ; but the Canaanite dwelt 
among them, and became tributary. 

c Josh. 17.11 

/Josh. 16.10. 
1 Ki. 9. 21. 

32. 33 with 
Nu. 26. 87. 
Josh. 17.14 

h cf. Nu. 1. 
30. 31 with 
Nu. 26, 27. 

it": and this, under the number that speaks of responsibility and recompense, 
carries us on, of necessity, to the day of account and manifestation. The realiza- 
tion of this must be lost, if the things of which the last names remind us have 
been. Megiddo must go with Dor and Ibleam. Plainly these names, the whole 
of them, are a series in close relation with one another : a meaning runs through 
them which must have guided in some way the hand of the wTit«r. Was the 
wisdom in himself, or beyond himself then? Can these simple histories be, 
after all, prophetic ? The Jews in fact speak of them as ' ' the former prophets ; " 
and we have proof that in them ' ' holy men that were of God spake as they 
were moved by the Holy Ghost. ' ' 

(ii.) Ephraim's failure naturally follows Manasseh's, inasmuch as in the order 
of attainment, as we have seen long since (Gen. xlviii. n), Ephraim is dependent 
on Manasseh. Gad on the other side of Jordan stands in similar dependence upon 
Keuben, and indeed approaches Ephraim very nearly in this place. Ephraim 
loses but one place to the Canaanites, or at least there is but one loss recorded — 
that of Gezer. It is a most important place, however, being a Levitical city, and 
for what we have found it typify as that. Gezer means ' ' isolation, " " a place cut 
off ; " as belonging to the Canaanites it is but the expression of natural independ- 
ence, as away from God. But as Israelite and Levitical it speaks of that " land 
cut off" into which Christ has borne the sins of His people, and in which the 
independence of man is seen in its awful reality of isolation from God.* How 
the awful reality, if it be indeed entered into by the soul, will produce in it a 
horror of the liberty man loves away from God ; and how this will turn to fruit- 
fulness in joyful dependence upon Him who has brought us out of that darkness 
into His marvelous light, needs little telling. Alas lor us, when the Canaanite 
hold upon Gezer has not been loosed ! Ephraim's one city lost is no light loss ! 

(iii.) Zebulon loses two cities, Kitron and Nahalol ; the first of which is nearly 
the same word as Keturoth, which in Ezek. xlvi. 22 is rendered by the Septua- 
gint, Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic, "small," and thus taken to represent Kattath, 
which in Josh. xix. 15 stands immediately before Nahalol. Keturoth is, how- 
ever, generally taken, as in our common version, to mean "joined": which 
Hengstenberg (on Ezekiel) refuses again, for "fuming, smoking," undoubtedly 
the common, if not exclusive, sense in scrii>tural Hebrew. In the Chaldee 
(Dan. V. 6), however, the noun means "joints"; and the Talmudists use the 
verb in the same form as "joining." 

On the whole, the Hebrew certainly favors the meaning of " fuming, " either 
in the sense of perfuming or of using incense ; above all, the latter. The identi- 
fication with Kattath is very uncertain, and in the word of God every change in 
a name must have significance. In connection with Zebulon, where "dwelling 
in relationship" to God is plainly the thought, the lack of incense would have 

•will the reader note here a partial return to a former thought, disclaimed in the first line of 
the notes f Vol. 1., page 342.), but which Is not really inconsistent with the fact that atonement is not 
made or figured by Uw. scapegoat. That It is not is plain from tlie passage in Leviticus ; and yet it 
Ifl not unsuitable, tliat where deliverance from the burden of sin Is most flilly proclaimed, there 
should be the tender and solemn reminder of the place in which this was borne and put away ;— 
a thouglit which Ls needed to nialce the liberty derived from this a holy liberty, a deep and Inward 
deliverance. Yet It Is not in fact " death "—this " land cut off "—but a deeper thought. 

1. 31-33. 



4. Asher: 
failure In 

failure In 

enjoyed re- 
to God. 

*' Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Accho, 
nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Ach- 
zib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob; but the 
Asherites •'dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants 
of the land : for they did not drive them out. 

"*Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth- 
shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath ; but he 
dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the 
land ; and the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and the in- 
habitants of Bethanath became tributary to them. 

I c/.Num. 1. 
40, 41 with 
Nu. 26. 47. 

j cf. Gen. 13. 
Rev. 2. 13- 
Ps. 106. 35. 

k cf. Nu. 1. 
42, 43 With 
Nu. 28. 50. 

sad significance indeed — the lack of prayer and praise, along with that also of 
which Nahalol speaks — ' pasture. ' ' These things do indeed go largely together, 
are enjoyed or lost together. 

(iv.) Asher, under the number of experience, follows with a long list of cities ; 
and here we find, for the first time, an expression which reveals at once a still 
lower state of things. "The Asherites," it is said, "dwelt among the Canaan- 
ites, the inhabitants of the land" — not simply, bad enough as that would be, 
the Canaanites among the Asherites. It is easy to understand it, inasmuch as 
the Phoenician sea-board was in the inheritance of Asher, and the prosperous, 
mercantile cities were never, even in the days of David and Solomon, brought 
into even modified subjection to Israel. They were then friends and allies, but 
not servants, although of the race of which it had been long before said, "A serv- 
ant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. ' ' 

Three of the seven names that are found here are absent from the list in 
Joshua, and this, with the doubt attaching to the meaning of two of these, 
makes the first three difficult of interpretation. Of these Accho, the first, is given 
by some from the Arabic as "hot sand," or "sand heated by the sun ;" but if 
taken as Hebrew, it would be, rather, "straitened." Zidon means " taking the 
prey." Ahlab is said to mean "fatness," the meaning given also (and rightly) 
to Helbah. It might be a compound word and signify ' ' brother in heai-t ; ' ' but 
of none of these can I speak with any assurance. 

The last four are plainer, and connect more simply together, three of them 
occuring in similar connection in the list in Joshua. Of these Achzib, "a 
flow indeed," has been already taken as applying to the Spirit. With this 
Helbah, "fatneas," Aphik, "a channel," and Rehob, "room," are easily asso- 
ciated, and the last two have been already considered in this way (page 151). 
Together, the loss of these cities implies much spiritual loss to the failiug Asher- 
ite : the experieiice (Achzib is in the fourth place) of the Spirit's energy ; the 
' ' fatness ' ' which speaks of plenteous nourishment ; the ability to convey to 
others the blessing we have received ; and lastly, liberty and enlargement of 
heart. How necessary these things are to true Christian happiness needs little 
to be affirmed. 

(v. ) Naphtali comes in the next place with two cities, Bethshemesh and Beth- 
anath, names which are simple enough as "house of the sun" and "house of 
response." They require not much interpretation either : for if still "there be 
many that say. Who will show us any good ? ' ' every believing soul will with 
the psalmist be able for himself to find it in the light of God's countenance. 
This is alone our sun, and " a pleasant thuig " iudeed " it is to behold " it. 

Bethanath, the "house of response," speaks of what surely goes with this, — 
the answer of God to the soul that seeks Him ; the answer, too, again, of the soul 
to God : that sweet and tender intimacy of fellowship which is strength for all 
the way. 

The ' ' Beths ' ' in both cases imply what is settled and abiding. The ' ' house ' ' 
is, as we say, the home, the place of relationship and of the interchange of 

The greater the blessing here, the greater the loss, of course. Naphtali, the 



1. 34-2. 7. 

6. Dan: 
instead of 

mental rec- 

1. (11. 6-10.) 
The obedi- 
ence in 

*And the Amorites 'forced the children of Dan into 
the hill-country; for they would not suffer them to 
come down into the valley; and the Amorites would 
dwell in Mount Heres, in Ajalon, and in Shaalbim; but 
the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, and they be- 
came tributary : and the border of the Amorites was from 
the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock and upward. 

(II. 1-5.) 

5. And the '"angel of Jehovah came up from Gilgal 
to Bochim, and said : I made you come up out of Egypt, 
and brought you into the land of which I sware unto 
your fathers; and I said, I will "never break my cove- 
nant with you; and ye shall make "no covenant with 
the inhabitants of this land : ye shall ^ break down their 
altars ; but ye have not obeyed my voice : why have ye 
done this? Wherefore I also said, I will «not drive 
them out fi-om before you, and they shall be in your 
sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you. And so it 
was, when the angel of Jehovah said these words unto 
them, the people lifted up their voice and 'wept. And 
they called the name of that place Bochim ; and there 
they "sacrificed unto Jehovah. 

Subdivision 2. (Chap. ii. 6-iii. 4.) 

The Breach with Jehovah. 

^"VrOW 'when Joshua had sent away the people, the 

Jjl children of Israel went every man to his inheritance 

to take possession of the laud. And the people 

I cj. ver. 32. 

m ch. 6. 8. 

n Gen. 17.7. 

o Ex. 34. 12. 
Dent. 7. 2. 

p Deut. 7. 8. 
Deut. 12. 3. 
ch. 6. 25. 

q Josh. 23. 

» cf. Gen.l2. 
7, etc. 


struggler, needs this sanctuary home that he may be the overcomer that he is 
called to be. Alas, like the other triljes here, he is losiug character ; and the 
precious things which God has made his own are but witnesses of a glory which 
is now departed from him. 

(vi.) Dan closes the tale of ruin with woi-se sorrow. He recedes from the 
seventh place in the Joshua list to the sixth in this ; and the history shows the 
significance of the change. For the Danites are forced by the Amorites out of the 
valley, the low level so necessary for true spiritual judgment ; and they dwelt, 
besides, in Mount Heres, the "mountain of the sun," in Ajalon and in Shaalbim. 
The last two speak, as we have elsewheie seen, of the judgment of the world, in 
its of God, and in its hollowne&s at heart ; if Mount Heres be 
in the same line with these, it would naturally speak of the world's self-glorifi- 
cation. Tlie Dauite would thus lose Avith these the ability for true judgment; 
and it is striking that it is to the Amorite (the "talker"?) that he loses them. 
The Amorite, we are told, had occupied all this land from its southern border. 

(5) And now we find the pronounced judgment of God upon this wide-spread 
departure from His plain command. The angel of Jehovah who had in Joshua's 
day taken His place witli them at Gilgal as Captain of the Lord's hast, now 
comes from Gilgal to Bochim ("weepers") to announce to them His acceptance 
in righteous government of their own decision. Tliey would not drive out the 
nations, and so He would not ; and the consequences of this, again and again 
predicted, would come upon them. The people weep and sacrifice to Jehovah ; 
but there is no real repentance : and this first step downward is soon followed 
by another in which the breach between them and Him is consummated. 

SCBD. 2. 
(1.) Idolatry had evidently never really been quite rooted out from among 

2. 7-12. 



2. (11. 11-15.) 




"served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days 
of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all 
the great work of Jehovah that he did for Israel. And 
"Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Jehovah, died, a 
hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in 
the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in Mount 
Ephraim, on the north of the hill Gaash. And all that 
generation also were gathered to their fathers ; and 
there arose '"another generation after them who knew 
not Jehovah, nor yet the work that he had done for 

^And the children of Israel did the "^evil thing in Je- 
hovah's eyes, and served the Baals. And they forsook 

uc/.Deut. 5. 
Josh. 24.31. 

V Josh. 24, 
29, 30. 

w e/.Kx.l.S. 
Deut. 6. 7, 

the children of Israel. Long afterward God reminds them by Amos how in the 
wilderness they had borue the tabernacle of Moloch, and Chimi their images, 
the star of their god which they had made for themselves (Am. v. 26) ; aud 
Joshua's exhortation at the close of his life to "put away the strange gods that 
were among " them, shows that even when they entered into the land, they had 
not fully cleansed themselves, nor turned to God with a perfect heart. True, 
externally no foreign worship was tolerated in Joshua's time, and in his days and 
those of the elders that outlived him, Israel generally served the Lord. But 
with the next generation decline became manifest. They had not seen the 
great works of the Lord, and the brief space that had elapsed was ample for for- 
getfulness. " Oat of sight ' ' was speedily ' ' out of mind. ' ' 

The Christian Church, in the same way, scarcely stood in any integrity during 
the lifetime of the apostles. Early in Paul's day he told the Thessalonians, 
"the mystery of iniquity doth already work ; " and this, when John wrote his 
first epistle, had ripened into "many antichrists. " The Church of uninspired 
history already retains but little semblance of its first condition. " As in water 
face answereth to face, so does the heart of man to man." And so in its general 
features does the Israelite history to that of the present dispensation. This is 
what makes the book of Judges so exceedingly important for us. We have here 
as in a glass, our own faces spiritually : a photograph of divine light that will 
not flatter. 

There is a significant change in this connection of the name of Joshua's inher- 
itance, from Timnath-seraA to Timnath-Aeres. The one word is simply the 
reversal of the letters of the other, but the change of meaning is striking, if 
with Fuerst and others we take the latter to mean, not "sun," but "clay." 
An ^^ abundant portion " becomes thus a "portion of clay. " How striking if we 
think of the spiritual meaning ! How indeed thus does the abundant heavenly 
portion into which Christ has entered vanish from sight, leaving Him only a 
"portion of clay" — an earthly one, expressed in its grossest form ! And has 
not the Church in its decline lost sight of the heavenly portion and changed it, as 
it were, into mere earthliness ? Or in its loss of the Lord as the Heavenly Man 
at the right hand of God, has it not, so to speak, left Him in the grave ? All 
the more does this meaning come out in the position of this portion as given 
both in Joshua aud here, "on the north of the hill Gaash," the mystery side of the 
'^quaking" earth out of which the Lord rose ! It is as we realize or not that 
of which this speaks, that we shall give our answer here. That quaking of the 
earth has its significance : that which is shaken can be removed. The ' ' yet 
once more I shake, not the earth only, but also heaven," signifies, according to the 
apostle (Heb. xii. 26, 27), the "removal of those things that are shaken." For 
faith this was now taking place, and out of a judged world there was akeady 
beginning the call of a heavenly jjeople. 

(2.) Man must worship something. He has a religious instinct, an apprehen- 
sion of some Power or Powers to which he is related, out of which he may per- 


z (if. Josh. 7. 

Ps. 106. 41, 

194 JUDGES. 2. 12-14. 

Jehovah the God of their fathers, who had brought 
them out of the land of Egypt, and went after other 
gods, the gods of the peoples round about them, and 
bowed themselves unto them, and provoked Jehovah to 
anger. And they forsook Jehovah, and served J' Baal 
and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of Jehovah was 
kindled against Israel, and he ^gave them into the 

haps reason himself, but which requires reason, however perverted, to accom- 
plish this. Hence atheism is a disease of cultivation, and where it exists has 
still in general to do homage to what it denies, as in the Comtean woi-ship of 
humanity itself. Hence fulfilling the well-known saying that if there were no 
Grod, it would be still necessary to invent one. 

The Comtean worship reveals more than this :'for in truth it is humanity that 
man, fallen away from God, everywhere worships. He may invest this with more 
or less of the attributes of deity : because he is not a being groping his way out of 
native darkness, as so many would persuade us ; the inspired version of heathen- 
ism is more honoring to God, if more condemnatory of the creature, that ' ' when 
they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, but became vain in their imag- 
inations, and their foolish heart was darkened." They had not to invent God, 
but rather to invent the god that they desired ; and the god that they desired 
was one like themselves, a being who could sympathize with the lusts and 
passions of a corrupt nature. Hence "professing themselves to be wise, they 
became fools, and changed the image of the incorruptible God into an image 
made like to cori'uptible man. ' ' 

Higher they could not go ; but they could go lower. In the creatures below 
man they could find represented the lower instincts, cravings, appetites of man, 
with no check of conscience or morality. In the beast there is an jtHmoral 
nature, which may appear to sanction what in man is immoral. Thus came in 
the bestial gods of Egypt and elsewhere: "birds, and fourfooted beasts, and 
creeping things" (Rom. i. 23), became to them the images of the divine glory ; 
and the infinite degradation degraded more and more the worshipers : they were 
assimilated to what they worshiped, and received back in divine government 
" that recompense of their error that was meet." The imagination of man was 
employed to throw a halo around what was utterly abominable. Taught by the 
sacred lips of parents, maintained by law, becoming more venerable continually 
with the passing of generations, conscience itself lost almost the power of protest 
against whatever enormities, and even came to confirm and enforce the putting 
of good for evil and evil for good, of darkness for light and of light for darkness. 

Such was the devilish system to which Israel, with their back on God, now 
turned. "The children of Israel did the evil thing" — what was emphatically 
that — "in Jehovah's eyes, and served the Baals." "They forsook Jehovah, 
and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. ' ' 

Their gods, being the product of their own minds, were necessarily many as 
their minds were. The plural in both cases, it is allowed, stands not lor the mul- 
tiplicity of images, but for different modifications of the deity himself. Baal was 
in no wise one, as Jehovah was ; nor was even Ashtoreth the same goddess every- 
where, although the general idea was one. Baal means ' ' husband ' ' and ' ' lord, ' ' 
with the primary idea of ownership. A bird even is a " baal of wing " ; and a 
hairy man a " baal of hair." It does not stand so much for the idea of one who 
rules therefore, which is rather adon, from din, to "discern," to "judge." Yet 
it has no necessary bad sense either : in that of "husband," God uses it of His 
own relation to the iieople : "thy Maker is thy baal ;" "though I was a baal 
unto them." (Isa. liv. 5 ; Jer. xxxi. 32.) Nevertheless, God finally repudiates 
the word. By Hosea He says, " Thou shalt call me Ishi [my husband], and thou 
Shalt no more call me Baali: for I will take away the names of the Baals out of 
her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name." (Hos. ii. 
16, 17.) 

2. 14-18. 



3. (U. 16-18.) 
The Judges 
as instru- 
ments of 

hand of spoilers, and they spoiled them ; and he sold 
them into the hand of their enemies round about, and 
they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 
"Whithersoever they went out, the hand of Jehovah 
was upon them for evil, according as Jehovah had said, 
yea, as Jehovah had sworn to them : and they were 
straitened sore. 

^ And Jehovah * raised up judges, and they saved them 
out of their spoilers' hand; and yet they "hearkened 
not unto their judges, but went whoring after other 
gods, and bowed themselves unto them : they turned 
''quickly out of the way in which their fathers had 
walked, obeying the commandments of Jehovah : not 
so did they. And when Jehovah raised up judges for 
them, then Jehovah was "with the judge, and saved 
them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of 
the judge ; for it ■''repented Jehovah because of their 

a Deut. 28. 

6 Acts 13.20. 
q/". PS. 72 

c Acts 7. 51, 

d Ex. 32. 8. 
Gal. 1. 6. 
Ps. 106. 13. 

e Josh. 1. 5. 

/Ps. 106.45. 
Ex. 32. 14. 

The difference here is not hard to be made out. IsM is, hterally, "my man " ; 
woman being Ishah, as "taken out of man." (Gen. ii. 23.) Ishi speaks, there- 
fore, of one who fills the due place implied by the relationship, man being 
divinely fitted to woman, and woman to man. The bcutl might be in the relation- 
ship, and not rightly fill it. "When God says, "/was a baal to them," or "Thy 
Maker is thy baal, " it is the fact of who it is' that is in this relation which assures 
us of the blessing implied. But baal thus being at the best indifferent, it is at 
last disclaimed, witli all the abhorrence due to the false gods that had usurped 
Jehovah's place. 

Baal .stands thus for the power implied in jjossession, apart from any thought 
of how it may be used, as Ashtoreth speaks (comp. Josh. xxi. 27) of fruitfulnesa 
here in the nature-sense. Both might be used (and were) in the vilest applica- 
tions ; and unitedly they reveal the mystery of iniquity that is native in the 
heart of man. Power he seeks, — to have things in his hand : that, without 
question of how he will use it, — irresponsible power ; while, underneath, the 
' ' lusts that war in his members ' ' hold him as a poor slave to their will. Baal 
and Ashtoreth are twin worships, the natural complements of each other : both 
meaning independence of God, and together self-bondage ; in which is found 
the awful tyranny of a more mahgnant despotism, that of the advereary of 
God and man alike, the ' ' spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience. ' ' 
(Eph. ii. 2.) 

Satan is thus the "prince of this world," and, spite of Christianity, — man, 
alas, not accepting the deliverance, — " the god " also " of this age." (2 Cor. iv. 4, 
Greek.) This he will be until the Lord comes, and he is cast into the "bottom- 
less pit." (Rev. XX. 2.) This makes the effort at world-reform so hopeless, and 
is the only thing that can account for the history of Christendom. The Baals 
and the Ashtoreths haA^e no more been kept out of the' Christian than out of the 
Jewish inclosure : " while men slept, the enemy came " has repeated itself in the 
history of every spiritual movement. And as surely as in Israel's history here 
the Lord's chastening hand has had to be upon His people. Spoilers had spoiled 
them, and they could no longer stand before their enemies ; and this for us also 
is, "as Jehovah has said — yea, as Jehovah has sworn ' ' : nor is He ' ' man, that He 
should lie ; nor the son of man, that He should repent. ' ' 

(3.) The means of deliverance was by the Lord's raising up judges — a remedy 
as plain as can be, though effectual only to a limited extent, the obstinate return 
to the old sins being consequent upon the passing away of the judge, if not be- 
fore. Yet the remedy showed plainly the disease : deliverance could be only by 
revival, and this would be in self-judgment as to their condition, and return to 



2. 18-3. 4. 

4. (iI.19-iii. 
4.) The na- 
tions left to 
prove Is- 

g ch. 8. 33. 
cf. Acta 20. 

h cf. 2 Chr. 

i cf. Deut. 7. 
ch. 3. 4. 

j cf. 2 Sam. 

k Josh. 13. 
2 3. 

cf. Mat. 13. 

groaning by reason of those that oppressed them and 
crushed them, 

^But so it was, when the judge "died, that they re- 
turned and corrupted themselves beyond their fathers, 
in going after other gods to serve them and bow down 
to them ; they ceased not ft"om their own doings, nor 
from their stubborn way. And the anger of Jehovah 
was kindled against Israel, and he said, Because this 
nation hath transgressed my covenant which I com- 
manded their fathers, and hath not hearkened to my 
voice, I also *will not henceforth drive out any fi-om 
before them of the nations which Joshua left when he 
died, that through them I may * prove Israel, whether 
they will keep the way of Jehovah to walk therein, as 
their fathers kept it, or not. And Jehovah left those 
nations, without driving them out hastily ; and he gave 
them not up into the hand of Joshua. Now these are 
the nations that Jehovah left, to prove Israel by them 
— as many as had not known all the wars of Canaan : 
only that the generations of the children of Israel might 
know war by •'learning it, such as before did not know 
it : five lords of *the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, 
even the Sidonians and the Hivites dwelling in the 
Lebanon hill-country, from Mount Baal-hermou as far 
as the entrance to Hamath. And they were to prove 
Israel by, to know whether they would hearken to the 
commandments of Jehovah which he commanded their 
fathers by the hand of Moses. 

Him from whom they had departed. The "judge" plainly was not merely 
such between man and man, but above all was the leader in the people's repent- 
ance and return to God — the representative of Jehovah's law and sway in 

(4.) Spite of all this, the course of things all through — apart from such inter- 
ruptions — is ever downward: " when the judge died they returned and corrupted 
themselves beyond their fathers. ' ' Correspondingly, even the deliverances iDe- 
come less and less full, and the character of the deliverers deteriorates (although 
this not continuously), until they reach together their lowest point in Samson, 
whose death still leaves the i)eople in captivity. In view of this God declares 
that He will not drive out the nations that remain, but will leave them for a 
trial to Israel, and that they may know war by experience, the war of conquest 
not having had its due effect. The very trial thus which comes in through sin, 
He makes a means of practising faith, for those who have faith. Since by the 
history of their fathei-s they had not learnt the need of obedience and reliance 
upon the living God, they .should learn these by practically meeting these ene- 
mies that their fathers itfet. Their discipline should be a school of faith. This, 
it is evident, applies to many more than Israel in the book of Judges, or than to 
such wars as these of Canaan. All the long series of evils that have afflicted the 
Church as the result of multiplied departure from God and from His word, have 
furnished for faith the exercise by which it is made to overcome. The history 
in all alike becomes, however, thus largely individual. The people disappear as a 
whole from sight, or furnish a background in the front of which a few figures 
walk apart. There are men of God, indeed, but where are the people of God ? 
Yet divine love cannot forget these, nor can the hearts therefore of those in 
whom this love has stirred- 

3. 5-8. 



DIVISION 2. (Chap. iii. 5-xvi.) 
Bondage and Deliverances. 

Subdivision 1. (Chap. iii. 5-11.) 
The first step tmvard ruin — independence of God. 

AND the children of Israel dwelt in the midst of the 
Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and 
- the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 
And they Hook their daughters to themselves as wives, 
and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their 
gods. And the children of Israel did the thing that 
was '"evil in Jehovah's eyes, and forgot Jehovah their 
God, and served the Baals and the Asherahs. And the 
anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he 
"sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king 
of Mesopotamia*; and the children of Israel served 

Ezr. 9. 2. 
2 Cor. 6. 14. 

m ver. 12. 

n Deut. 82. 
Ch. 10. 7. 

• " Aram of the two rivers." 

DiV. 2. 

In the second division we have the history of the captivities and deliverances 
which fill the body of the book. In these we find the exemplification of the 
Lord's words that "he that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin." (Jno. 
viii. 34, R. V.) In the shadows of spiritual things which are presented here, we 
shall find how truly it is the sins committed by them that lead men captive. We 
shall find, also, as we might be sure beforehand, the deliverance in each case to 
figure what is truly that — the deliverer being, in fact, the divine Judge, and act- 
ing in this character. 

SUBD. 1. 

The first of these captivities gives us the root-principle of all, which is indeed 
but sin, and sin has but one definition in Scripture — "lawlessness" (1 Jno. 
iii. 4): rightly so given in the Revised Version, where the common one has " the 
transgression of the law." This the word does not mean; and the real thought 
is a much deeper one. Where law is, sin manifests itself in the transgression of 
it: of that there is, of course, no question ; nay, it was the purpose of the law to 
manifest it, and "by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Rom. iii. 20.) "I had 
not known sin," says the apostle, "except the law had said. Thou shalt not 
covet " — "lust ; " "but sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in 
me all manner of lust" (vii. 7, 8). Sin therefore is deeper and more radical 
than even the "lust" which it works. Sin is the parent ; lust is the child. 
"Lawlessness" is the unsubject spirit of self-will, which in the creature away 
from God shows itself as want, in cravings which find no satisfaction, and thus 
rule the man. " Their god is their belly," says the apostle, of such. (Phil. iii. 
19.) This is the misery of the creature out of the creature's place, of independ- 
ence on the part of one who is necessarily dependent. 

This is what is seen in the people here. They forget Jehovah their God, form 
alliances with the people round them after their own will, and end in bondage 
to false gods — the Baals and the Asherahs, or images of Ashtoreth. Jehovah 
sells them therefore into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, 
and they serve him for eight years. 

This king of Mesopotamia, what does he represent ? If it be indeed the chain 
of our own sins that holds us, then he should in some way be the reflection of 
the people's condition. His name is a remarkable one, meaning "blackness of 
double wickedness ; ' ' and the dual form here one can hardly avoid connecting 

198 JUDGES. 3. 8-9 

Chushan-rishathaim "eight years. And the children of 
Israel ^ cried to Jehovah, and Jehovah raised up for the 
children of Israel a saviour, and he saved them, «Oth- 

o ver. 14. 
cf. Jer. 25. 
11, 12. 
Lk. 21.24. 

IJ ver. 15, etc. Ps. 107. 13. c/. Zech. 12. 10-14. 9 ch. 1. 13. r/. Gal. 2. 11, 12, 

with that of the country over which he rules, which is literally ' ' Aram of the 
two rivers." Aram means "exalted," and is taken generally to refer to the 
"high land" of Syria, as contrasted with the Canaanitish "lowland;" but, 
whatever truth there may 1)e in this, we may be sure it does not exclude that 
spiritual application for which we are in search all through, and which as such 
is necessarily of so much higher importance. 

Aram A\as the fifth son of Shem, whose children taken together, and with 
his own, present a group of names of remarkable significance. Shem means 
"name," and his blessing is in his connection with Jehovah his God, who 
reveals Himself to him, makes him, that is, to know His Name. Shem la thus 
marked out as the tessel of divine revelation. 

His sons' names seem to carry on this thought, the numerical order certifying it 
throughout. Here we have — 

1. Elam, which, as a form of oZawi, is the ordinary Hebrew word for "everlast- 
ing. " This is the first and simplest thought of God, the first word ol revelation 
as to Him. 

2. Asshur, "step," speaks of it as progressive. Only little by little has God, 
in fact, been able to declare Himself (Heb. i. 1) ; hindered, as is plain, by the 
needs of man himself, who had to be prepared to receive the revelation. Nay, 
when the dispensations were ready, man was not ; and He in whom at length 
God spake to man face to face was taken by wicked hands, crucified, and slain. 
Yet this also was in the counsels of God for the meeting of man's deepest need, 
as we well know ; and thus alone was accomplished the full manifestation of 

3. Three is the number of manifestation, and if the names here speak as we 
credit them with doing, Arphaxad (properly Arphachshad) should give voice to 
this. It is confessedly a difficult word to interpret, and the meaning assigned 
by Ewald, "stronghold of the Chaldees," spite of its aeceptance by some author- 
ities, seems everyway strained and fanciful. ' ' One that heals, " or " releases, ' ' 
has been suggested with much more probability ; but this in fact only accounts 
for the first two syllables of the name, to which the last would add the thought of 
pouring out, our own word "shed" being probably derived from it, and cer- 
tainly its equivalent. But how clearly and appropriately would "remit- 
ting by shedding forth " speak of the great mystery of the Cross, the mystery 
in which God is truly manifest ! How can it be accounted for, that every thing 
80 perfectly fits together but by the truth of what is so consistently shown 
forth ? 

4. Tlien, in the fourth place, which we know to be that of the creature, we 
have what as fully agrees with it, yet how strangely in the revelation of God — 
Lud, "born " ! Yet so must He be, who, being God, becomes the Savionr of men, 
to remit by shedding forth : and "without shedding of blood is no remission." 
Coming down, then, to man's estate, and as man dying for us. He rises up into 
the place of power — power acquired by suffering ; and of this — 

5. Aram, "exalted," under the number which speaks of reward, fittingly and 
finally speaks. Thus the series is evidently complete. 

That we may adopt every safeguard against deception, however, let us, from 
the same genealogy in Genesis, consider in the same way the sons of Aram, 
who ought, one would say, to continue this line of thought, and speak of the 
fruits of this exaltation of the man Christ Jesus to the place where now we know 
Him. The sons of Aram are four : " Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash ;" and 
this is as far as his line is continued in Scripture. 

3. 9-10. JUDGES. 199 

niel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. And 
the Spirit of Jehovah was upon him ; and he *■ judged 
Israel and went out to war ; and Jehovah gave Chushan- 

r r/. Josh. 7. 

1. Uz, from atzah, "made firm." This is numerically plain, and plain also 
in its application to the risen and glorified Saviour. The abiding place He 
has taken as Man, He has taken also /or men, His people. Our position is the 
fruit of His position : we are one -with Him — identified with Him — accepted in 
the Beloved ; ' ' and this is evidently the fundamental blessing for us in connec- 
tion with His exaltation. That is, Uz is, in spiritual order, as well as in the 
genealogical table, the first son of Aram. 

2. Hul is the second son. And Hul {chul), from chcdal, would mean "opened, 
penetrated, entered into. ' ' This under the number of association, fellowship, and 
in the connection in which we find it here, cannot be for a moment doubtful as to 
its meaning. Christ exalted has entered the sanctuary for us ; the veil is rent, 
and God is in the light : our fellowship is with the Father and the Son. This 
too is in perfect spiritual order : Hul follows Uz at once, but could not precede 

3. "VVe have Gether — a very difficult word. Gesenius, collating with the Syr- 
iac, gives it the meaning of "dregs, sediment" — every way an unlikely and 
unsuitable one. If Hebrew, it would seem to be a contraction from two words, 
which may be gahah and jeilier. The first of these means to ' ' heal, restore ' ' ; the 
second we have had in its intensive form in Jattir (page 110, n), and means 
"excellence," or " exceedingly more." If Gether might thus speak of a restora- 
tion going beyond the original condition, it would suit the number, which is 
that of revival, recovery, and the line of thought as well. Yet this interpreta- 
tion is, of course, conjectural only, to be held only as long as there is nothing 

4. Mash, from mush, is to " feel " — to " know" by feeling " ; and, in the fourth 
place, shows what the Lord as man has taken up with Him to His place of exalt- 
ation. Its appositeness in this series of names of the ascended Lord, none will 
deny. And thus the meaning of Aram, as we have taken it, seems confirmed on 
all sides. 

Beautiful, however, as are these names thus joined together, we easily under- 
stand how in a world like this, and as connected with the human generations 
for which they stand, they soon scatter and fall away from one another, and 
thus lose their meaning and their beauty as united. The sentences become but 
broken words, capable of very different, even of opposite, suggestion. The 
Shemite families, as they scattered and multiplied into nations, lost almost 
entii'ely the promise of their origin. Their primitive worship became cor- 
rupted into a dark and debasing idolatry ; and the Aram-naharaim of the book 
of Judges is ruled over by the ominous king whom we find now tyrannizing 
over Israel. 

The resemblance of Mesopotamia to Egypt is striking enough. They are alike 
oases which interrupt a broad belt of desert land which stretches from West to 
East across Africa and Asia, ' ' reaching from the Atlantic on the one hand nearly 
to the Yellow Sea on the other. " It is a low level plain as far as the country we 
are speaking of, afterwards rising in high plateaus "having from 3,000 to near 
10, 000 feet of elevation. ' ' ' 'Where the belt of sand is intersected by the valley of 
the Nile, no marked change of elevation occurs ; and the continuous low desert is 
merely interrupted by a few miles of green and cultivable land, the whole of 
which is just as smooth and flat as the waste on either side of it." Egypt, as 
we know, is the product of its great river ; and so also with the country with 
which we have now to do. " Known to the Jews as Aram-naharaim, or ' Syria 
of the two rivers ; ' to the Greeks and Romans as Mesopotamia, or ' the between- 
river country' ; to the Arabs as Al-Jezireh, or 'the island,' this district has 
always taken its name from the streams which constitute its most striking feat- 

200 JUDGES. 3. 10-11. 

rishathaim, king of Aram, into his hand, and his hand 
prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim. And the land 
was quiet ' forty years, and Othniel the son of Kenaz 

« ver.30,etc. 
cf. Deut. 
8. 2 

cir.' Is. 2. 4. 

ure, and to which, in fact, it owes its existence. If it were not for the two great 
rivers — the Tigris and Euphrates — with their tributaries, the more northern 
part of the Mesopotamian lowland would in no respect differ from the Syro- 
Arabian desert on which it adjoins, and which in latitude, elevation, and gen- 
eral geological character, it exactly resembles. Toward the south the importance 
of the rivers is still greater; for of lower Mesopotamia it may be said, with 
more truth than of Egypt, that it is 'an acquired laud,' the actual 'gift' of the 
two streams which wash it on either side ; being, as it is, entirely a recent for- 
mation — a deposit which the streams have made in the shallow waters of a 
gulf, into which they have flowed for many ages." {Eawlinson.) Thus both 
Lower and Upper Egypt are represented in what is indeed Aram of the two 

And to this we may add the name of the king as a further link. Chushau 
and Cush are radically the same, and the Cushite kingdom of Nimrod had long 
before been established on the Euphrates. But Cush was the brother of Miz- 
raim, the founder of Egypt, and the Cushites derived from Egypt their religion. 
One branch of them were the Ethiopians of history, whose name with those of 
Cush and Ham speaks of their dark complexion. 

This Hamite kingdom among the Shemites is itself an evidence of degradation, 
which the emphatic title of ' ' doubly wicked' ' for the king confirms and intensifies. 
As already said, one can hardly help connecting it with the "double river " of the 
land over which he reigns, and this would be strictly according to the similitude 
of Egypt, whose river became their dependence, sustaining them in their inde- 
pendence of heaven. Man's blessings lead him thus (how often !) away from the 
Giver of them ; and the greater the blessing, the farther from God : the greater 
the goodness He has shown, the worse the corruption of it. Now Aram, as we 
have seen, speaks of humanity exalted in Christ, man in the fullest blessing he 
can know, and thus in the typical application . the intensity of evil connected 
with it here may be accounted for. Even the apostle, after being taken up to 
Paradise, needed a thorn in the flesh to prevent self-exaltation. And the profess- 
ing Church, how soon did it become lifted up with pride, to fall into depths of 
unimaginable wickedness ! Babylon stood in lower Mesopotamia, and thus 
we may see how consistent are the surroundings of the picture put before us 

In its fruits, however multiform, evil is, in its essential principle, absolutely 
one. The creature leaving the creature place — setting itself up in independence 
of God :— this is its character at bottom ever. Thus the light is darkened with 
us, and the terrible slavery to a depraved will results. We need not, therefore, be 
at a loss as to what Chushan-rishathaim represents. The first step on the down- 
ward path to ruin is always the same. 

Othniel is here the suited deliverer. No details of the warfare are recorded at 
all ; our eyes are kept fixed upon the man himself It is repeated for us that 
he is in close relation with Caleb, the "whole-hearted," and the son of Kenaz, 
" recipient of strength." His own name is more doubtful : from the Arabic it 
has been taken to be " lion of God " ; Jerome gave it as " my time is of God " ; 
othere again give "God is power." In any case the consciousness of dependence 
is emphasized, and its relation to single-eyed obedience ; and thus we have 
what is the key-note of victory over the king of Aram. Let us remember, 
although we shall not have the mere repetition of this in after-deliverances, that 
this is really fundamental to them all. Not till we get back to this is the path 
of departure retraced to its beginning, and the restoration of the soul effected. 
Notice the order here : "and he judged Israel, and went out to war." Thus he 

3. 12-15. 



Moab: a 
barren pro- 

Subdivision 2. (Chap. iii. 12-31.) 
The Modbite and Philistine inroads : profession. 

(III. 12-31.) 

1. AND 'again the children of Israel did the evil thing 
J\_ in Jehovah's eyes, and Jehovah "strengthened Eg- 
lon king of Moab against Israel, because they had 
done the thing that was evil in Jehovah's eyes. And 
he gathered unto him the children of ""Ammon and 
Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and took posses- 
sion of the * city of palms. And the children of Israel 
served Eglon king of Moab "eighteen years. And the 
children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, and Jehovah 

t ch. 4.1, etc. 
tf. Hos. 

u cf. Ex. 9. 


w 2 Chr. 20. 
1, etc. 

X ch. 1. 16. 

y ver. 8. 

SUBD. 2. 

1. In the second captivity it is Moab into whose hands they fall ; and now we 
begin to see the definite forms of evil that have aiflicted the church. Moab, if 
we have interpreted rightly, stands for mere profession (Dent. ii. 8 sq. n.); and 
it was not long before this condition, in fact, arose. The first parable of the 
kingdom (Matt, iii.) prepares us for it. The epistles show us the increase of 
the false disciples, for which the epistle of John provides tests. The book of 
Revelation shows us the church at Sardis already dead, and others in various not 
far removed conditions. Church-history, outside of Scripture, too sadly confirms 
what such things imply : the church proper soon beetles what is sorrowfully 
known as the church invisible. 

Eglon is king of Moab at this time. His name we have seen as that of one of 
the cities of Canaan taken by Joshua, and it should have the same significance. 
There we saw it as reminding us of the perpetual revolution of earthly things, 
like that of the earth itself, swinging in its yearly orbit. So with the changing 
seasons all things change and pass — everything fair in its season, and only for its 
season. Now the church, becoming characteristically profession merely, comes 
under this law of change and decay, under which the world is. Earthly condi- 
tions influence and give it shape. Providences — "bit and bridle " — rule it, and 
not Scripture. It becomes the creature of circumstances, exalted by the favor of 
man, depressed if this is withdrawn. The world, under its law of change and 
decay, was no such mystery to the wise man in Israel as the phases of the church 
are to the man who has been taught of God its principles and privileges. And 
the fundamental reason for this condition, next to and proceeding from the root 
of independence which we have already looked at, is to be found in a Moabite 
conquest — such as here the history of Israel so vividly depicts. 

With the Moabite, Ammon and Amalek come into the land ; and this is per- 
fectly simple and intelligible. An unconverted profession gathers to itself all 
heresies and makes room for all the lusts of the flesh. Then they take the "city 
of palms" (Jericho, without the name — Deut. xxxiv. 3), and the world revives 
there under Moabite protection and the cover of practical righteousness, which 
the palm-tree, as we know, represents. This is always the strong point for the 
professor : "He can't be wrong whose life is in the right." 

Moab's limit, however, as we find presently, is at Gilgal.* The memorials of 

• The pesilitn, which I have translated " [boundary] stones ", are mostly translated either " quar- 
ries" or "graven images;" but Dr. Cassel, In Lange's Commentary, saj's:— 

"Boundary-stones" "is evidently the sense in which pesilim is to be taken. I^il is always a 
carved image, yXvytTo'v. The entire number of Instances in which this word is used by Scrip- 
ture writers falls to suggest any reason for thlnkiog here of ' stone-quarries,' a definition which, 
moreover, does not appear to harmonize with the locality. But as the connection implies that 
the borders of Eglon's territory, which he had wrenched from Israel, were at the pesilim, we must 
understand by them the posts, drifXoct, stones, lapides sacri, which marked the line. In conse- 
quence of the honors everywhere paid them, these were considered pesilim, idol-images. This bor- 
der-line was in the vicinity of Gilgal, which had not fallen into the hands of Moab. Ewald has 
rightly Insisted that Gilgal must have lain north-east of Jericho." 



3. 15-27 


raised them up a saviour, Ehud the eon of Gera, the 
Benjamite, a man 'lamed of his right hand. And the 
children of Israel sent him with a present in his hand 
to Eglon king of Moab. And Ehud made him a "dag- 
ger which had two edges, a cubit long ; and he girded 
it under his robe upon his right thigh. And he brought 
the present to Eglon king of Moab ; now Eglon was a 
very *fat man ; and when he had made an end of offer- 
ing the present, he sent away the people that bare the 
present. But he turned back from the [boundary-] 
stones that were at 'Gilgal, and said, I have a secret 
word for thee, O king. And he said, Be silent ; and all 
that stood round him went out from him. And Ehud 
came to him ; and he was sitting in the cool upper room 
which was for himself alone ; and Ehud said, I have a 
word from ''God for thee: and he rose from the seat. 
And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger 
from his right thigh, and struck it into his 'belly. And 
the haft also went in after the blade ; and the fat closed 
upon the blade : for he did not draw the dagger out of 
his belly ; and it came out behind. And Ehud went 
out into the porch, and shut the doors of the upper 
room upon him, and fastened them. And when he had 
gone out, the [king's] servants came, and when they 
saw that the doors of the upper room were fastened, 
they said. Surely he is covering his feet in the cool 
chamber. And they waited till they were ashamed, 
and behold, he did not open the doors of the upper 
room ; therefore they took the key and opened them, 
and behold their lord fallen to the ground dead. But 
Ehud had escaped while they were hesitating ; he had 
■^passed the [boundaiy-] stones and escaped to Seirath. 
And it was so, when he had come, that he blew a »trum- 

zcS.I Cor. 



c Josh. 6. 2, 

r/. Col. 2. 
Col. 3. 6. 

d c/.2The8S, 

e Phil. 3. 19, 

/ r/.Hom. 6 
2, etc. 

g ch. 6. 34. 
cf. Nu. 10. 

death passed through and a resurrection standiug will necessarily be outside of 
Moab's possession. All this is of quite simple interpretation to any who have 
learned the lessons of the book of Joshua. 

As to the deliverer, he is Ehud, the son of Gera, a Benjamite ; and it is Benjar 
min's territory upon which Eglon has obtained lodgment. This, again, is simple 
for a spiritual mind. For Benjamin, standing for Christ in us, it is here that 
we find what most of all the life of mere profession denies and sets aside. Thus, 
too, it must be with Benjamin that delivei-ance lies. Then he is Ehud, from 
the same root as Judah, which, as we have seen, speaks literally of confession, 
the opposite of mere ^"■ofession. Ehud is the "confessor," and the son of Gera 
— that is, as it would seem, " rumination," that heart-meditation by which the 
things of Christ are appropriated and become the possession of the soul. Ehud 
is, then, the God-prepared deliverer for Israel in their present emergency. 

The details of the deliverance, however, are less easy to understand. The 
dagger or sword (according to the root-idea, the "implement of destruction") 
would stand, according to Eph. vi., for the " word of God." Ehud, like many 
other Benjamites of his day, was " bound of his right hand," and uses it with hia 
left. Does this speak of the infirmity in which the man in Christ glories, that 
the power of Christ may rest ujwn him? From Gilgal, with its inspiriting 
memories, Ehud turns back to Eglon, and escapes beyond it again to Seirah, 

3. 27-4. 2. 






The cause 
of the con- 
flict, and 
the forces 

pet in Mount Ephraim, and the children of Israel went 
down with him from the mount, and he before them. 
And he said unto them, * Follow me : for Jehovah hath 
given your enemies the Moabites into your hands. 
And they went down after him and seized the fords of 
'Jordan toward Moab, and let •'no man pass over. And 
they smote of Moab at that time about ten thousand 
men, all stout men, and all men of valor ; and not a 
man escaped. So Moab was humbled that day under 
the hand of Israel. And the land was * quiet eighty 

(III. 32.) 

2. And after him was 'Shamgar the son of Anath ; and 
he smote of the Philistines six hundred men with an 
ox-goad : and he too saved Israel. 

(IV. 1-29.) 

Subdivision 3. (Chap. iv. v.) 
7%e CanoMnite revival : the spirit of gain. 

1, A ND the children of Israel ""again did the thing that 
J\^ was evil in Jehovah's eyes ; and Ehud was dead. 
And Jehovah sold them into the hand of " Jabiu 


i cf. Gal. e. 

j ctr.l8&m.. 
15. 7-9. 

k ch. 6. 31, 

1 1 Sam. 18. 

m ch. 6. 1. 

n cf. Josh. 
11. 1 with 
2. Pet. 1. 9. 

"the rugged." Then he sounds a trumpet in Mount Ephraim, out of which the 
children of Israel hasten in response, and Jordan, which, by the power of God, 
Israel had passed over dry-shod, becomes the effectual doom of Moab, not a man 
of whom escapes their enemies' swords. 

So much we may in some measure apprehend ; but it is a meagre enough 
account of a great deliverance. 

2. Next we hear of Shamgar, and a victory at great odds over the Philistines. 
Whether the Moabite inroad had encouraged their attack or not, it is given as 
something contemporaneous with or following upon it. And the spiritual con- 
nection is quite evident, if the Philistines represent the Judaistic development 
of the world-church, perfected in Eome. To this the Moabite condition of un- 
converted membership — impossible, of course, in the body of Christ — is a neces- 
sary preliminary. The Philistines, however, do but shoAV themselves as yet : the 
time of the captivity to them is later, and ends the series. At present Sham- 
gar's bold deed is decisive as deliverance. 

Shamgar's name seems but the inversion of Gershom, and to have the same 
meaning — of a stranger (or sojourner) there. He is the son of Anath, which 
means "answer": here speaking, as it seems, of the response of heart to that 
deliverance call which invites us forth to pilgrimage. Such an one is surely the 
fit deliverer from the world-chm-ch, and for the present Shamgar's ox-goad 

SUBD. 3. 

1. The third subdivision is the history of a great C'auaanite revival, in which 
appear once more a Jabrn and a Hazor, the reproduction of the leader and city of 
the old northern confederacy against Joshua of one hundred and thirty years 
before. Some have even attempted to identify these two kings, and to make 
Barak a contemporary of Joshua himself— an attempt which even Farrar (Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible) regards with no disfavor. But on the contrary the very 
pith of the lesson lies in this being a revival, with which the numerical place 
perfectly corresponds. It is the only section in which we find Israel's sin in 
sparing and allying themselves with the nations under ban from God, bringing 
forth its perfect fruit. It thus should have an exceptional importance. 

How easy is such springing up again from a root not destroyed, we have been 
already reminded of in the case of Hoi-mah and of Luz. The application in 

____ _ 




o ch. 1. 19. 

p c/. 1 Tim. 
2. 12 with 
ver. 9. 

q Joeh, 20.7. 

r ctr. ch. 7. 

king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, and the captain 
of his host was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth of the 
nations. And the children of Israel cried unto Jeho- 
vah ; for he had nine hundred "chariots of iron ; and he 
mightily oppressed the children of Israel twenty years. 
And ^Deborah, a woman, a prophetess, the wife of La- 
pidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she was 
dwelling under the palm tree of Deborah between Ra- 
mah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim ; and the children 
of Israel came up to her for judgment. And she sent 
and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of « Kedesh- 
naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not Jehovah the God 
of Israel commanded, Go and draw towards Mount Ta- 
bor, and take with thee ''ten thousand men of the chil- 
dren of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulon ; and I 
will 'draw unto thee, to the stream Kishon, Sisera, the 
captain of Jabin's host, with his chariots and his multi- 
tude, and I will give him into thy hand. And Barak 

spiritual experience is most easy and abundant. The failure of Christian vigor 
permits once more the old besetments to appear again ; and the new siua are 
but the old ones, though i)erhaps indeed with a certain disguise. The old char- 
acter displays itself. The" Israel "ofawhile ago is now again "Jacob." Indeed, 
deeper than all difFereuces, and surely to be found amid all disguises, there is a 
moral unity in sin. "We have turned every one to his WCTiway," shows at 
once both the unity and the diversity. 

That it is Jabiu, of all the Canaanite kings, that we find thus revived, must, of 
course, have its significance also. The revival of the Canaanite would naturally 
be shown in one who is, in some sense at least, the typical Canaanite. Nothing 
can be in Scripture which does not speak to the ear that is open. Jabin, too, is 
emphatically here, not merely, as in the book of Joshua, "king of Hazor," but, 
over and over again, " king of Canaan." The meaning of these names we already 
know. Jabin means "discerning"; Hazor, "inclosure." As the enemy of the 
people of God, it is the wisdom of the world with which we have here to do — a 
wisdom which reigns in its own " inclosure," shut up, as is the constant fashion, 
in cliques and parties and philosophies, by which it elevates itself over what is 
outside its boundary. The spirit of it is easily manifest as that of self: self- 
interest, self-assertion, self-satisfaction, the true "trader" or Canaanite spirit, 
that of gain. The inroad of this into the Church was early indeed. "All seek 
their own, not the things of Jesus Christ," was said, in the apostle's days, of 
those at Rome. (Phil. ii. 21.) Of the Ephesian elders it was prophesied, "Also 
of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perveree things, to draw away 
disciples after them." (Acts xx. 30.) But already at Corinth the sects and 
parties produced by such attempts were being formed, as we know, and the true 
people of God were becoming subject to Jabin's rule ; and this has developed 
much more widely since, even until the Church of God has been broken up into 
various denominations, to the dishonor of the One Name which is upon us all. 
This, then, is the true Canaanite revival shadowed here. 

The captain of Jabin's host is Sisera, whose name means, according to Gese- 
nius, "battle-array"; and who dwells in Harosheth ("carving, cutting, artifi- 
cers' work ") of the nations. Such names should not be difficult to read in such 
a connection. The strife of sects, the odhnn theologieum, is notorious ; and how 
the sects themselves are thus maintained needs no insisting on. Sisera is still 
captain of the host. The verj' truths of God's word are often arrayed against one 
another, and, allied with errors of greater or less gravity, become but the battle- 
cries of partisans. And when we realize whom the Canaanite leaders represent 

4. 8-9. JUDGES. 205 

t cf. Ex. 4. 
13, 14. 

said unto her, 'If thou wnlt go with me, then I will go ; 
and if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. 
And she said, I will surely go with thee ; nevertheless 
there will be no glory for thee upon the way thou 
goest ; for Jehovah selleth Sisera into the hand of a wo- 
man. And Deborah arose and went with Barak to Ke- 

— " the spiritual hosts of ■wickedness in heavenly places " — how serious becomes 
the aspect of evil here ! The assault of Satan is most of all against the truth, 
the power of which he recognizes well enough, and which he can no more easily 
prevail against than by dividing it, so to speak, against itself, and allying it 
with some deceit of his own devising. Thus what is of God is prejudiced in the 
eyes of His people by the associations in which they find it ; -N^hile, on the other 
hand, many, seeing it to be truth, are put off their guard as to these, and receive 
along with it some deadly error. How, for instance, has the truth of the Lord's 
coming been mixed up with the abominations of materialism, the denial of eter- 
nal punishment, and many another thing, until the very one whose heart would 
welcome it, if otherwise presented, looks upon it as a synonym for heresy of this 
kind ! How important, therefore, here is God's word to Jeremiah, "If thou 
take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth. ' ' ( Jer. xv. 19. ) 
But, in general, how little are we able to find the truth in the creed of another ! 
in another sense than the true, what one sees in the Shulamite is indeed "but 
the company of two armies." On both sides the truth suffers, while it is made 
the power and preservative principle of error itself, which, if simply that, would 
soon find at the hands of every Christian its merited judgment. 

Yet it is the truth that must come in for deliverance here, as is quite plain ; 
and Deborah the prophetess stands, according to the meaning of her name, for 
the ' ' Word ' ' itself, prophetic as in its office it truly is, the word of God which 
brings the soul into the presence of Him before whom all the secrets of the heart 
are laid bare, and with whom we have to do. But for this the Word must be, 
as Deborah was, united to another. She is the wife of Lapidoth, which means 
' ' burning torches, ' ' and reminds us of the Pentecostal tongues of fire, the mani- 
fest type of the Spirit in His utterance among men. Deborah judges Israel un- 
der the palm-tree of Deborah, the palm-tree being the well-known symbol of the 
righteous, fruit, as this character is, of such judgment by the Word, "between 
Eamah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim," — an "exalted" Christ in heaven, and 
the "house of God " on earth. 

There is fullness of meaning in such a picture : for here are the two things 
that give us the standard for self-judgment. Everything as to our position be- 
fore God is implied in Christ's own position as exalted now. In the house of 
God we have implied the descent and indwelling of the Spirit, with the holiness 
that becomes that house. It is in view of these wondrous truths that the word 
of God addresses itself now to the people of God, to maintain in them that prac- 
tical righteousness of which the palm-tree speaks. Certainly here is no hap-haz- 
ard association of thought. 

■^iVTiile in all the book of Judges the necessity of self-judgment is sho\vn in 
order to deliverance, this, then, is now especially emphasized iu Deborah, as is 
plain. As there is on the one side manifest a peculiar power of the enemy in the 
Canaauite uprising, so there is on the other a dwelling on that which is, above 
all things, necessary to take one out of his hand, the lowly, self-judged spirit of 
him who "trembleth at the Word." 

We have now the captain on the side of Israel : "she sent and called Barak the 
son ofAbinoam out of Kedesh-Naphtali." Barak means "lightning," — light 
(and God is light) revealed in judgment. To bring God in is the exposure and 
overthrow of error. The day of manifestation is the day of judgment, when all 
falsehood expires forever, and no self-deception is any longer possible. Barak is 
" the son ofAbinoam," that is, " father of pleasantness " : for the destruction of 



4. 9-15. 

Tbe Con- 

desh. And Barak called Zebulon and Naphtali to Ke- 

desh, and he went up with ten thousand men at his 

feet; and Deborah went up with him. And "Heber Mch.i. le. 

the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, of 

the children of Hobab, the brother in law of Moses, and 

pitched his tent near Elon-Zaanannim, which is by Ke- 


(IV. 12-24.) 

2. And they told Sisera that Barak the son of Abino- 
am had gone up to Mount Tabor ; and Sisera summon- 
ed all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and 
all the people that were with him from Harosheth of the 
nations to the stream Kishon. And Deborah said unto 
Barak, Up ; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath 
given Sisera into thy hand: is not Jehovah "gone forth v2Sa.5. 24. 
before thee ? And Barak went down from Mount Ta- 
bor, and ten thousand men after him ; and Jehovah 
discomfited Sisera, and all the chariots, and all the 
host, with the edge of the sword before Barak ; and Sis- 
error is that that which is pleasant may remain, the good and perfect and accept- 
able will of God. Love rejoices in this overthrow ; and although where His 
creatures are in question, judgment is "His strange work," yet here also our 
comfort it is to know that, in its sternest and dreadest forms, the Lamb will 
execute it. Barak is still and ever the son of Abinoam. 

Deborah calls Barak out of Kedesh-Naphtali, the "sanctuary of the struggler," 
which we have seen to speak of rest in self-abasement, and, as a city of refuge, 
of the work of Christ. Here is in fact that from which deliverance springs, and 
the condition also in which it can be made good to us. 

Naphtali and Zebulon are the tribes used of God in the conflict, as their land 
is that in which the oppressor's power is found. What these opeak of we already 
know. The enfeeble nient of Zebulon, (the dwelling in that which is our own 
in the relationship which God has given us to Himself,) is a manifest result of 
the revival of that seeking of our own things which is, as we have seen, what 
is indicated by this Canaauite revival. It is no less true that Zebulon must 
have been enfeebled first, before Jabin could have got foothold there at all. 
These things are indeed an admonition for us. But Hazor itself is significantly 
in the territory of Naphtali, the struggler and the overcomer, being but the 
perversion of the true Naphtali spirit. How many are involved in the sectarian 
strife of tongues, supposing all the while that they are doing the Lord service ! 
While, on the other hand, it is plain that Naphtali is thus prostrate where Jabin 
reigns. These things might be expanded largely and applied to the condition of 
things in the midst of which we are to-day ; but we have not space for it. 
Those who desire to do so can without much difficulty trace them out : "the 
knowledge of the Holy is understanding." 

Purpose of heart is required to be with Barak, who therefore is bidden to 
"draw toward Mount Tabor" — the " mount of purpose. " It is here that one 
finds elevation to view the battlefield, and a place of strength against the adver- 
sary. Here God draws Sisera to the stream Kishon which is to sweep his host 
away. Sisera himself is reserved to fall by the hand of the woman. We shall 
look at all that is connected with this in the next section. 

2. The conflict at once begins. The free and independent movement of the 
Spirit of God at once awakens alarm in the enemy, and Sisera summons all his 
forces together against Israel ; but the battle is the Lord's, and the issue never 
doubtful. The host is discomfited and annihilated ; and Sisera flees away by 
himself to the tent of Jael. 

4. 15-24. 



w <;^.Josh.2. 

X ch. 3. 31. 
</. Heb. 11. 

era came down from the chariot and fled away on his 
feet. And Barak pursued after the chariots, and after 
the host, unto Harosheth of the nations, and all the 
host of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword : there was 
not left so much as one. But Sisera fled away on his 
feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite ; 
for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor 
and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went 
forth to meet Sisera, and said unto him, '"Turn in, my 
lord, turn in to me : fear not. And he turned in to her 
into the tent ; and she covered liim with the rug. And 
he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to 
drink ; for I am thirsty : and she opened the milk-skin, 
and gave him to drink, and covered him. And he said 
unto her, Stand at the entrance of the tent ; and it shall 
be, when any man doth come to inquire of thee, and say, 
Is there a man here? thou shalt say. No. And Jael, the 
wife of Heber, took the ""tent-pin, and took the hammer in 
her hand, and went softly unto him, and drove the pin 
into his temples, and it sank into the ground : for he was 
fast asleep, and weary. So he died. And behold, Ba- 
rak pursued Sisera ; and Jael w'ent forth to meet him, 
and said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man 
whom thou art seeking. And when he came to her, 
behold, there was Sisera lying dead, and the tent-pin 
was in his temples. So God subdued on that day Jabin 
king of Canaan before the children of Israel. Aiid the 

A second woman now Ijecomes prominent in the story. From the Kenites, 
whom we have seen making their " nest " in Judah, one man had separated him- 
self with his family, and traveling north as far as the portion of Naphtali, had 
pitched his tent by Elon-zaanannim, "the oak of ladings," which is by Kedesh. 
We must put these things together in order to read them aright. Kealizing the 
character of these Kenites, as we have traced it in the first chapter, we cannot 
but take it as a sign for good in Heber that he has separated himself from them. 
His name, however, "companion, fellow," or else like Hebron, "company, fel- 
lowship," would intimate that separation, as shown in him, is not to be taken as 
in the spirit of independency, but the opposite. Typically, at least, we may 
find in him another Al)raham, whose break with his kindred naturally is in order 
to walk with Grod. Accordingly we find him in the territory of Naphtali, the 
overcomer, and at the "oak of ladings," the place of strength acquired in daily 
taking up the burdens of the day (see ante, page 152) ; in close connection, also, 
with Kedesh. 

Heber's wife is Jael, which, while it is the word for " wild goat," means, liter- 
ally, the "climber" — "one who mounts, or ascends." The women of Scripture 
(as in Sarah, Hagar, etc. ) often stand, as another has remarked, for fruitful prin- 
ciples embraced by the men who represent the individual state. Here Jael, as 
the "seeking things above," is in beautiful connection with Heber's stranger- 
ship and communion both. Nor need we wonder to find the tent-pin an effective 
weapon in her hands. Is it not a heart in heaven that destroys the spirit of sec- 
tarian strife, with that which secures the pilgrim's tent ? Such things do not seem 
hard to translate into the spiritual ; and there is a self-consistency in the whole 
meaning as so given which ought to secure for it respectful consideration. Even 
the peace between the house of Heber and Jabin, and Jael's deception of Sisera, 
seem quite capable of consistent rendering ; and may connect together thus, as in 



4. 24-5. 6. 

The pro- 

1. Cause of 


y Ps. 18. 37. 

z Ex. 15. 1, 

a ver. 9. 
Eom. 12. 1. 


c cf. Deut. 

a Ps. 18. 7. 
P3. 114. 
Deut. 33. 2. 

hand of the children of Israel waxed "continually heav- 
ier against Jabin king of Canaan, until they had cut off 
Jabin king of Canaan. 


3. ^ Then sang * Deborah and Barak the son of Abino- 
am in that day, saying : 
For the work of deliverance in Israel, — 
For the "self-devotion of the people, 

* Bless ye Jehovah ! 
' Hear, O kings, give ear, ye counsellors : 
Unto Jehovah I, [even] I, will sing ; 
I will sing psalms to Jehovah, the God of Israel. 
Jehovah, when Thou "^wentest forth from Seir, 
When Thou movedst out of the field of Edom, 
The earth quaked ; yea, the heavens dropped. 
Yea, the clouds dropped water ; 
The mountains shook at the presence of Jehovah, 
That Sinai at the presence of Jehovah, God of Israel. 

In the days of *Shamgar, son of Anath, 
In the days of Jael, 

the history : for so, for the moment, through mere iucompetency to understand the 
attitude of the Jaels and Hebers, peace may be kept on the side of the Church's 
bitterest oppressors toward those who are deemed but harmless and unpractical 
visionaries, with no weapon of power beyond a tent-pin, which in the end, how- 
ever, breaks the peace, as did Jael's. 

3. And now we come to the song, which, from the mouth of the prophetess, 
gives us the divine judgment, the manifestation of the spiritual condition as 
seen of God, and of God Himself in the whole matter. Those who feel it need- 
ful to apologize for the sentiments which it expresses, as well as those who view 
it simply as an interesting fragment of antique poetry, a relic of rough and bar- 
barous days, forget surely the prophetic character ascribed to Deborah, as also 
the large place given to this song of hers in so brief a record. The place given in 
an inspired writing is an exact measure of the importance attaching. 

(i.) The song divides naturally into three parts, the first of which goes back to 
the beginning, to show the origin of the whole matter — a lesson, not for Israel 
alone, but for kings and counsellors amid the nations round, to ascribe glory to 
Jehovah even for the humbling of His people, as now for their deliverance. 

(a) Certainly His power had been known when in the midst of Israel He 
came forth from Edom. Edom is specially noticed, because it was thence that 
the people emerged at the end of the wilderness career, to threaten the nations 
with their might — a might that was not their own : for the earth quaked, and 
the heavens dropped at the presence of Jehovah, Israel's God. Sinai, before this, 
had done so, where Israel had come into covenant with Him ; and there the 
secret of their strength and the conditions of its continuance had been declared. 
Now, awakened afresh to the blessedness of obedience, they hjfd devoted them- 
selves to their Saviour-God ; and He who had declared Himself as "forgiving 
iniquity and transgression and sin," had interfered and delivered them. 

(ft) They had been brought low because of their departure from Him. They 
had chosen new gods, and thus war was in their gates : the laud was stripped 
and desolate, the inhabitants, pent up within the walls of their cities, dared not 
venture forth into the open country, and travelers went to their destination by 
unused and circuitous paths. Up to the very gates swept the tide of war, for 
Israel was defenceless and unarmed. 

And this was in the days of Shamgar, the deliverer of the south, whose victory 
had not shamed others into faith. It was in the days of Jael, by whom, though 

5. 6-12. JUDGES. 

The •''highways ceased to be, 

And the travellers went by winding ways. 

The villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, 

Until that I, Deborah, arose ; 

Till I arose, a mother in Israel. 

They chose 'new gods ; then war was at the gates : 

Was there seen * shield or spear among forty thousand 

in Israel ? 
My heart is toward the 'governors of Israel, that de- 
voted themselves among the people : 

Bless ye Jehovah. 
Ye that ride on white she-asses. 
Ye that sit on carpets. 
Ye that walk by the way, sing ! 
Away fi'om the sound of archers, 
'Mid the places of ■'drawing water, 
There they celebrate the righteous acts of Jehovah, 
The righteous acts toward His villages in Israel : — 
Then the people of Jehovah went down to the gates. 

* Awake, awake, Deborah! 
Awake, awake ; utter a song ! 


/ Lev. 26.22. 

g Deut. 32. 
Jer. 2. 11. 

h 1 Sam. 13. 
cf. Eph. 6. 

i cf. Heb.l3. 
ctr. Acts 3. 

} Ps. 44. 1, 

cf. Jno. 14. 

2. The 
tribes and 
the con- 

but a woman, God had now once more delivered them. It lasted until Deborah 
herself rose up to be a mother to those who had forsaken their Father-God. How 
pitifully low had this great people fallen ! 

(c) With return of heart comes return of blessing. Bless Jehovah now, for peace 
is in the land. The spoil of their enemies is being divided where in quietness 
they draw water for refreshment, none making afraid. The people come down 
to the gates, and the open villages are once more everywhere ; they celebrate 
once more the righteous acts of Jehovah, their covenant-God. 

All this, while picturesquely told, is simplicity itself ; and while here in an 
Israelitish garb, is subsequently what in the history of Christendom has been 
many times repeated. The cause of Israel's desolation is never far to seek, for 
the Lord their God is a sun and a shield, and with Him no power could prevail 
against them. We, too, while we may lose ourselves among various second 
causes if we undertake as philosophers to trace an evil condition to its origin, 
may reach, without any doubt, its first great cause, if we will but be honest and 
confess the truth before God. In Ephesus, the first of the seven churches, the 
Lord Himself puts before them (and before us) the root of all bad fruit that ever 
grew : " Thou hast left thy first love. " Yet they had zeal, and works, and what 
not ; but His word to them is only, " Repent." And, alas, Christendom will not 
repent : it abides under the doom, " I will come unto thee, and take away thy 
candlestick out of its place, except thou repent. ' ' 

There were partial returns, however, in Israel, in which God graciously met 
and encouraged, as He could, such a return. These are types for us, not, indeed, 
historically fulfilled, as in the churches of Revelation, but enfolding principles 
which illumine the history, and are of perpetual application all the way through. 
How striking is the picture here of such a state of things as the endless strife of 
sects induces ! The highways ceasing, the peaceful travelers having to walk 
through devious ways ; no possibility of dwelling anywhere save behind a wall 
of defence ; the mass of true Israel left without weapons ; and those who would 
draw water from the wells of salvation exposed to the attacks of the ready 
archers ! Well might we celebrate deliverance from all this ! But such deliv- 
erances have been but few and partial. 

(ii.) We have now the conflict, and the various relation of the tribes to it : for 
Israel is no longer one. But a remnant of the noble come down to take part in 



6. 12-23. 

3. The di- 

Arise, Barak ! and lead thy captivity captive, thou son 
of Abinoam ! 

Then came down a * remnant of nobles of the people ; 

Jehovah came down ' for me among the mighty. 

Out of "* Ephraim they whose root is in Amalek ; 

After thee "Benjamin, among thy peoples ; 

Out of "Machir came down governors, 

And out of ^Zebulon they that handle the pen of the 

And the princes of 'Issachar were with Deborah ; 

Yea, Issachar was the support of Barak : 

[When] into the valley he was sent on foot. 

In the divisions of Eeuben were great *" resolves of 

Why abodest thou among the 'sheepfolds to hear the 
pipings to the flocks ? 

Among the divisions of Reuben were great delibera- 
tions of heart. 

'Gilead abode beyond Jordan ; 

And "Dan, why did he remain in ships? > 

"Asher sat still by the sea-shore. 

And abode by his creeks, 

•"Zebulon is a people that jeoparded their lives unto 

And ''Naphtali on the high places of the field. 

The kings came and fought ; 

Then fought the kings of Canaan 

In Taanach by the waters of Megiddo : 

They took no gain x)f money. 

They fought from heaven : 

The !' stars from their courses fought against Sisera. 

The stream Kishon swept them away, 

A helpful stream was the stream Kishon. 

My soul, thou hast trodden down strength ! 

Then stamped the horse-hoofs 

With galloping, galloping of their mighty ones ! 

^* Curse ye Meroz, saith the angel of Jehovah : 

k cj. ch. 7. 7. 

I cf. ver. 28. 

m </, ch. 1. 
28, etc. 

n cf. ch. 1. 
21, etc. 

o cf. Num. 
32. 39, 40. 

p cf. ch. 1. 
30, etc. 

q </.Nuin.l. 
28, 29 with 
Num. 26. 


s Num. 32. 
1, etc. 


u cf. ch.l. 34 

V cf. ch.1.31, 

w cf. ch. 1. 

Acts IS. 26. 
Acts 20.24. 

a; cf. ch.1.33. 

y cf. Josh. 
10. 11-14. 

z cf. Mat.l2. 

the deliverance ; and those that are noted here seem to include all that from first 
to last enter into the straggle : for in the first battle at Tabor only Zebulon and 
Naphtali follow Barak, and are thus specially distinguished in the song itself 
(verse 18). But many take no part at all. Reuben makes great resolutions, aud 
then wavers. Gilead allows the intervention of Jordan to be sufficient excuse. 
Dan is otherwise occupied, and stays in his ships. Asher, without occupation, 
tarries at the sea-coast, All these varieties of indift'ereuce are easy to be under- 
stood. Among those that, sooner or later, do take part the distinction is not 
so easy ; and for the present at least it must be left. 

Next we have the actual conflict and overthrow of the enemy. Heaven and 
earth unite against the oppressors of the people of God. The stars from their 
courses fought against them above ; the Kishon swept them away with its stream 
below. The mighty ones showed themselves such by the stamping of their 
frightened horses. Such is the strengtli of those that are with God : the mightier 
the foes, the mightier only is the overthrow. 

(iii.) We have now, most suitably filling the third place, a directly announced 

6. 23-31. 



a cf. ver. 13. 
Mat. 25. 41 

6 <y. 2 Sam. 
19. 32, 3" 

c Ex. 15. 9. 

Curse with a curse the inhabitants thereof, 
Because they came not to Jehovah's "help, — 
To Jehovah's help against the mighty ! 

* Blessed among women 
Shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be. 
Blessed among women in the tent ! 
He asked for water, she gave milk, 
In the nobles' bowl she brought forth cream. 
She put her hand to the pin. 
And her right hand to the workman's hammer ; 
And smote Sisera, struck through his head. 
Shattered and pierced through his temples. 
At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down ; 
At her feet he bowed, he fell ; 
Where he bowed, there he fell, overcome. 
Through the window she looketh, and crieth aloud, 
The "mother of Sisera, through the lattice. 
Why is his chariot so long in coming ? 
Why tarry the steps of his chariots ? 
Her wise ladies answer her. 
But she repeats her words unto herself: 
Have they not found — divided the spoil ? 
A damsel or two apiece ? 
For Sisera booty of dyed stuffs. 
Booty of dyed embroidered stuflPs, 
Dyed stuflP doubly embroidered. 
For his neck as a spoil ? 
So let ''all thine enemies perish, Jehovah ! dP8.83.9,io. 

divine oracle. It is twofold — the one part in solemn contrast with the other. 
The curse upon Meroz — " [built] of cedars " — is an awful warning for those who 
in the day of needed help against the enemy withhold their help. As if to cut 
off the excuse so readily made for indifference, it is distinctly declared to be 
Jehovah who requires help : certainly not on His own account ; that could hardly 
be supposed ; but yet He looks for real and active sympathy and putting one's 
hand to work in what His heart is. The name of the city at least suggests the 
hindrances to this, of which the world is full — pride, luxury, all that makes 
the world look stable, and the things of God thus to be unreal because unseen — 
which refuses to accept His judgment. "Built of cedar " may well remind us 
how ' ' Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria say in pride and in strength of 
heart, The bricks are fallen, but we will build with hewn stone : the sycamores 
are cut down, but we will change them into cedars." (Isa. ix. 9, 10.) Of such 
God says in Malachi, "They may build, but I will throw down." 

In contrast with the curse upon Meroz, we have next the blessing upon Jael, 
in which the iron warrior is seen in utter collapse at the feet of a woman. Meroz 
had failed in the plain path of duty ; but Jael, who might have been excused, 
forgets her womanhood and her alien birth, forgets the ordinary claims of hospi- 
tality and the pity accorded to distress, and strikes for the Lord and for His 
people. There are times when the voice of nature must not be listened to, as 
when Levi ' ' knew not his own kindred. ' ' On the other side, the unwomanly 
woman's voice that follows with the anticipation of the victory that was not to 
be, and of the spoil that was never to be handled, shows the degradation of nature 
in a soul away from God, and the tyranny under which Israel lay prostrate. 
After all, in behalf of nature itself was Jael's blow struck : that which is for Gtod 
is no less for the creature, because God Himself cannot but be, in all the reality 


Gideon : 

The way of 


1. (vl. 1-32.) 

The call of 

the man of 


a (V. 1-10.) 
and repent- 

(, V 1. — \ 

e ch. 3. U. 

/ch. 4. 1. 

g Num. 25. 

1 Sam.22,1. 

i Lev. 26.16. 
c/. Hag. 2. 
16, 17. 

JUDGES. 5. 31-6. 4. 

And let those that love him 

Be as the sun goeth forth in its might. 

And the land was quiet * forty years. 

Subdivision 4. (Chap, vi.-x. 5.) 
The Midianite Test: the Church in relation to the world. 

(VI.— VIII. 32.) 

ND the children of Israel did that which was •''evil 
in Jehovah's eyes ; and Jehovah gave them up 
into the hand of 'Midian seven years. And the 
hand of Midian prevailed over Israel : from the face of 
Midian the children of Israel made themselves the *dens 
that are in the mountains, and the caves, and the fast- 
nesses. And so it was, when Israel had sown, that 
Midian came up, and Amalek, and the children of the 
east, even they came up against them. And they en- 
camped against them, and * destroyed the produce of 
the land until thou come to Gaza, and they left no sus- 

of what He is, for him whom He has made for Himself. The cause of God is 
the cause of all. 

SUBD. 4. 

The fourth subdivision gives us the Midianite oppression and the deliverance, 
with the failure of the deliverer himself, and its disastrous consequences, ending, 
however, in true and peaceful revival under Tola and Jair. The spiritual mean- 
ing, as we shall see, brings all this into a true unity. Israel sinks lower than 
ever before. Gideon also fails in the very hour of victory ; and the reign of his 
son is a usurpation of Jehovah's rights, begun in fratricide and closed in Divine 
judgment. Even in this way, the numerical structure vindicates itself; but 
there is much more than this. 

Midian, a son of Abraham by Keturah, is, as we have seeu, in Gen. xxv., in 
common with his other children, the witness and pledge of how the nations of 
the earth will find blessing at last in him. It is a picture of blessing, where 
Ishmael, as another son, comes in also as representing Israel themselves in the 
same millennial day. The history, however, both of Ishmael and Midian (as 
man's histoiy everywhere) speaks something very diflfereut from God's grace. 
These two also are connected — in some sense, identified — in Scripture (Gen. 
xxxvii. 28 ; chap. viii. 24), as we shall presently see. Midian in this way stands 
for the world, as its history has characterized it, and the name corresponds to 
this, meaning "strife." "The corruption that is in the world" is "through 
lust" (2 Pet. i. 4); and "whence come wars and fightings among you? come 
they not hence, even of your lusts which war in your members?" (Jas. iv. 1.) 
And especially do the lusts in the members war against Christ, and thus against 
the Church of Christ. These Midianites — "Midian" is supposed by some to 
have real connection with the modern word "Bedouin" — were Arab raiders, 
wauderiug pillagers, locust-like devouring what they had no will to produce, as 
the story here shows ; and this is what the world is when admitted into the 
professiug church : it has no community of interest in it, but the reverse ; the 
effect is mere desolatiou. The Israelites were forced by the Midiauites into dens 
and caves and fastnesses ; and so, literally, have the true followers of the Lord 
ia the times of the world-church, when rule was ravage merely, and when the 
"produce of the land" — the heavenly fruits of life, and the seed of the word 
from which they spring — were the sj^ecial objects of the spoilers' pursuit. 

Notice, too, the connection with the Philistines, whose name we have seeu is 
"wanderers," and who are the type so near to this, of earthly men intruding 
into heavenly things. "Until thou come to Gaza" is no mere geographical 

6. 4-13. 



b (V. 11-24.) 

The Deliv- 

teuance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. For 
they came up with their cattle, and their tents, and 
they came up as grasshoppers for multitude : both they 
and their camels were without number ; and they came 
into the land to destroy it. And Israel was brought 
•'very low because of Midian ; and the children of Israel 
* cried unto Jehovah. And it was so, when the chil- 
dren of Israel cried unto Jehovah because of Midian, 
that Jehovah sent a 'prophet unto the children of Israel, 
who said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, God of Israel : 
I brought you up out of Egypt, and brought you forth 
from the house of bondage ; and I delivered you out of 
the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all 
that were oppressing you, and I drove them out from 
before you, and gave you their land. And I said unto 
you, I am Jehovah your God : fear not the gods of the 
Amorite, in whose land ye dwell; but ye have not 
hearkened to my voice. 

And there came the ""angel of Jehovah, and sat under 
the terebinth that was in Ophrah, that belonged to 
Joash the Abiezrite. And his son Gideon was "beating 
out wheat in the wine-press, to hide it from Midian. 
And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said 
unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou "mighty man of 
valor. And Gideon said unto him, Alas, my lord, if 

j Ps. 107. 39. 
k ch. 4. 3. 

I ch. 2. 1. 

tn ch. 13. 3. 

n c/.Prov.2. 

cf. Rom.4. 

limit, "Gaza formerly, as in later times, was the great bazaar of stolen wares, 
brought together there by the Bedouins from their expeditions." (Cassel, in 
Lange's Commentary.) Philistines would naturally league with Israel's ene- 
mies, and typically are but another phase or aspect of the world-church. Other 
connections of the history here we shall find later in the story of Philistine-named 

With the Midianites Amalekites also throng into the land. Familiar as we 
are with what Amalek stands for (see Exod. 17, n), we have no diflficulty in see- 
ing that here we are plainly reminded how the world and the lusts of the flesh 
are found together. The children of the East — a general term for nameless 
marauders — represent, probably, the similarly nameless host of evils that follow 
in the train of those already named. No wonder Israel was ' ' brought very low ' ' ; 
but they are brought thus to cry to God, and He comes in for them. A prophet 
is sent to put them in remembrance of what is indeed so plain and yet so easily 
forgotten — the secret of their present condition to be in their false gods. With 
us all, such desolation from the Lord's hand means but this very thing, though 
it be in various ways disguised. 

(6) Thus brought to repentance, the deliverer is now found for them. This 
deliverer is Gideon, the son of Joash, a Manassite ; and it is simple enough, though 
none the less needful to be insisted on, that in Manasseh, the spiritual pressing on 
after the heavenly goal, is to be found the rescue from the spirit of the world. 
Gideon is the son of Joash the Abiezrite ; and Joash may most simply mean 
"the despairing one," though taken generally, from the alternation of the two 
names in the case of two kings of the after-history, to be simply a contraction 
for Jehoash, a name of very different meaning. But even in their case, is it so 
sure that one name is but the contraction for the other ? True reverence for the 
Word would assure us that even there there must be a reason for the difference, 
and therefore a corresponding difference of meaning. The change, one familiar 
with the style of Scripture would say, is a paronomasia, or slight change in the 



6. 13-15. 

Jehovah be with us, why is all this befallen us? and 
^ where are all his wonders, which our fathers told us 
of, saying, Did not Jehovah bring us up from Egypt? 
but now Jehovah hath abandoned us, and hath given 
us up into the clutch of Midian. And Jehovah turned 
[his face] on him, and said, Go in Hhis thy strength, 
and thou shalt save Israel out of the clutch of Midian : 
have not I sent thee ? And he said unto him, Ah, Lord, 
wherewith shall I save Israel ? Behold, my thousand 
is the poor one in Manasseh, and I am the 'least in my 

p Ps. 89. 49. 

g (y.Mat.l7. 

r Jer. 1. 6. 
1 Sam. 9. 2. 
cf. Lk. 5. 8 

1 Cor. 15. 9, 

name, given for the very purpose of conveying a different thought. Even here, 
though the double form does not occur, Joash, the "de.spairing " — meaning self- 
despair — might well become a Jehoash, whom "Jehovah supports." And this, 
indeed, seems conveyed here, only after another manner : for Joash is "the Abi- 
ezrite ; " and Abiezer means, as commonly given, "father of help," or, more liter- 
ally, ' ' my father is help. ' ' Certain it is that the true Abiezrite, or he who is 
able to trust thus confidently in God as his support, will be one weaned from 
self-confidence — from the thought of self-help. 

Gideon springs thus from Joash ; and his name is almost identical with that 
of a Benjamite already interpreted (Num. i. 11), Gideoni, "the cutter down." 
The application made of it there is to the judgment of the flesh, which the more 
literal meaning, "m^/ cutter down," may, indeed, more precisely indicate. This 
links Gideon and Joash in thought very closely together ; but Gideon is more 
general : it is "the cutter down ; " and if this imply in the firet place the judg- 
ment of man as fallen, in the light of God, we can clearly understand that this 
is power over the world necessarily, and that Gideon is thus the proper name of 
the deliverer from the hand of Midian. 

To Gideon the call is given in another manner from that to any former judge. 
To him the angel of Jehovah appears — one who everywhere accepts the title, with 
all that belongs to it, of Jehovah Himself Gideon the Mauassite is thus shown 
the goal toward which the Christian Mauassite runs. It is in the Lord's presence 
alone that things take their true shape, and find their proper judgment. The 
angel appears sitting under the terebinth that was in Ophrah that belonged to 
Joash the Abiezrite. Elah, whether terebinth or oak, which is disputed, means, 
literally, a strong tree ; Ophrah is generally taken as meaning "vigorous, nim- 
ble," and so a "fawn"; but from another root may mean "crumbling," akin to 
aphar, "dust." The angel's position may be thus another intimation of how, 
out of human weakness, strength is developed and maintained. 

This is what is clearly before us, all through Gideon's history. He is found 
beating out wheat in a wine-press, to keep it out of the hands of the Midianites, 
and the angel salutes him with the words, "Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty 
man of valor." And when he objects their present condition as proof that 
Jehovah had abandoned them, the angel further bids him, "Go in this thy 
strength, and thou shalt deliver Israel out of the clutch of Midian." What is 
this "strength"? It is the apprehension of the Lord's presence as this, — the 
consciousness that without Him there is none. This realized, the spiritual 
vision clears : God is seen as the soul's one necessity, and clung to, whatever 
else must be given up ; there comes real strength to stand in the face of a hostile 
world, or against the opposition of the people of God them.selves ; and to stand 
with God means victory. Then the glorious face of God is turned upon us, aa 
is said here with regard to Gideon; and every one so energized finds his call in 
this to aid in the deliverance of His people from the enemy : "Go, and thou 
shalt deliver ; have not I sent thee? " 

But it is easier to learn to answer to our name Jacob than it is to appropriate 
in simple faith that of Israel which God has given us; and so Gideon, mighty 
man of valor ag he is yet to prove, shrinks from the place to which the voice of 

6. 15-22. 



father's house. And Jehovah said unto him, Nay, but 
•I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite Midian as one 
man. And he said unto him, If now I have found favor 
in thine eyes, show me a 'sign that it is thou who talk- 
est with me : "depart not from hence, I pray thee, until 
I come unto thee, and bring my present, and set it be- 
fore thee. And he said, I will remain until thou re- 
turn. And Gideon went and made ready a "kid, and 
unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour : the flesh he 
put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and 
brought it out to him under the terebinth, and pre- 
sented [it.] And the angel of God said unto him. Take 
the flesh, and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon 
this "'rock, and pour out the broth: and he did so. 
And the angel of Jehovah put forth the end of the staff 
that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the 
unleavened cakes ; and the * fii'e rose up out of the 
rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. 
And the angel of Jehovah departed out of his sight. 
And Gideon perceived that he was the angel of Jeho- 

8 Ex. 3. 12 
with 1 Cor. 
1. 26-28. 
1 Cot. 2. 1 

1 2 KJ. 20. 8. 
Is. 7. 11-14. 
ver. 36, 87. 

u ch. 13. 15, 

V cf. Lev. 4. 


IV cf. Num. 
16. 18. 
1 Pet.2.4-8. 

X cf. Lev. 9. 
1 Kl. 18. i 

the Lord has called him, and opposes the very littleness which makes him a fit 
instrument in God's hand, as an argument against this ! "Ah, Lord," he says, 
"wherewith shall /save Israel?" Why, with an ox-goad, as Shamgar once; 
or with a smooth stone from the brook, as David afterward. But it is not an 
inquiry merely as to the Lord's will, although now he owns it to be the Lord 
that is thus speaking with him. Alas, little "I" can be great enough as an 
obstacle to faith, and assert itself how pertinaciously in the very presence of the 
grace of God ! And so he goes on to talk about his family, and his own place in 
his father's house. And how many are thus hindered from taking the place 
that God would give them by that littleness of theirs, which, after all, is of so 
much account ! When shall we really learn that God's great men are all little 
ones, only made great by His use of them? — and leave off this shameful idolatry 
of means which is so continually putting the creature into the place of God, to 
its own dishonor and the wreck of all that we can wreck ? 

The Lord keeps to His grace, and Gideon must rise up to this : " Nay, but I 
will be with thee," He says; and there is all that need be said. 

But Gideon's doubts are not settled : is it, after all, Jehovah that talks with 
him? Yes; is there not, after all, such a thing as fanaticism? Can we not make 
mistakes? And how, then, shall we be sure, at any time, we are not making 
one? Dull enough, surely, we are, when that voice which there is not another 
like, can be heard with doubt in the soul that hears it ! May we not learn by 
the connection, too, that it is just the making so much of man that makes Grod 
so little, and disables us from distinguishing the voice of God? His thoughts 
are not as our thoughts ; yet we may refuse His thoughts because they are so 
unlike our own. And often, indeed, we do this. 

Gideon would prove, then, his visitor with an offering, and significantly brings 
him Abraham's offering of an ephah — that is, three measures — of flour; but 
Abraham's gift is of fine flour; and instead of Abraham's calf he brings a kid. 
Though less full a type than that in Genesis, Gideon's offering still speaks of 
Christ. And on the angel's part here there is more reserve than there, but still 
acceptance. At his direction it is placed upon the rock ; and the angel touching 
it with his staff, it goes up in fire as an accepted offering. Then the angel 
himself departs : there is not power for sustained communion, as in Abraham's 
case; yet Christ, as Representative of His people, accepted in sacrifice upon the 
cross, is declared the ground upon which God can be with them in dehvering 



6. 22-30. 

c (w.26-32.) 

y ch. 13. 20, 
Is. 6. 5. 

z Gen. 8. 20. 

a ch. 2. 2. 
c/. 2 Tim. 
2. 19. 

b <•/. Matt.2. 
Juo. 3. 2. 

vah ; and Gideon said, * Ah, Lord Jehovah ! that I have 
seen the angel of Jehovah face to face. And Jehovah 
said unto him : Peace to thee ; fear not : thou shalt not 

(c) And Gideon built there an ^ altar to Jehovah, and 
called it Jehovah-shalom : it is yet this day in Ophrah 
of the Abiezrites. And it was on that night Jehovah 
said unto him. Take thy father's young bullock, even the 
second bullock of seven years old, and "throw down 
the altar of Baal which thy father hath ; and cut down 
the Asherah that is by it ; and build an altar unto Je- 
hovah thy God on the top of this strong place in the 
ordered way, and take the second bullock, and offer it 
up as a burnt-offering with the wood of the Asherah 
which thou cuttest down. And Gideon took ten men 
of his servants, and did as Jehovah spake unto him : 
and so it was, because he feared his father's house and 
the men of the city, and could not do it by day, that he 
did it by * night. And when the men of the city arose 
eai'ly in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was 
broken down, and the Asherah that was beside it was 
cut down, and the second bullock was offered upon the 
altar that had been built. And they said one to an- 
other, Who hath done this thing? And when they 
inquired and searched, they said, Gideon the son of Jo- 
ash hath done this thing. And the men of the city said 
unto Joash, Bring forth thy son, that he may die, be- 
cause he hath broken down the altar of Baal, and be- 
cause he hath cut down the Asherah that was beside it, 

thera. And this is the true assurance of competence for the Gideons of any 

He is assured now that he has seen the angel of Jehovah face to face, yet fears 
on that account, till quieted by His word, that he will not die. There is, indeed, 
for us ever in the apprehension of the Lord's presence tlie apprehension al.'^o 
of the sentence passed upon the; and here is the ability for all right walk, 
and energy for the warfare to which we are called. "Now mine eye seeth 
Thee, therefore I a])hor myself" And Christ crucified is the affinniug of this 
sentence and for deliverance from ourselves, that "crucified with Christ" we 
may yet live, — no longer we, hut Christ living in us. 

(c) Gideon, therefore, builds an altar, and calls it .Tehovah-shalora, — "Jehovah 
is peace." It is not merely tliat there is peace unili God, nor would this l)e the 
expression for it, for Jehovah is already the covenant name. No; hut Jehovah t.s 
peace: it is found in Him; He has produced and bestowed it: from all fear what- 
ever the soul takes shelter in Him.self And this being so, the altar itself is now a 
challenge of the idols ; Jehovah's altar cannot abide in company with Baal's, nor 
Israel's deliverance be accomplished with a divided faitli. Thus it was on the 
same night, the night of the day in whidi Jehovali bad appeared, that Jehovah 
bade him throw down I>aal's altar, and cut down the asherali, — a pillar of wood, 
the synd)ol of the Ashtarotli worship with which that of Baal Avas conjoined, — 
and, building an altar to Himself on the top of the stronghold (to which they 
were accustomed to retire from the face of the Midianitos), to oflev upon it his 
father's second Inillock with the wood of the asherah lie had cut down. Not to 
he interrupted by the unl)elief of those around, he did it by night, and the next 
morning the challenge to Baal was apparent. Thns "to faith" Gideon had to 

2. (Ch.vl. 33 
-vll. 15.) 
Steps to- 
ward deliv- 

a (vi. 33-35.) 
The gath- 

6 (vi. 36-40.) 
Signs for 

the refresh- 
ment of 

c <•/. 1 Sam. 

with 1 Sa. 
11. 12. 

d ch. 3. 10. 
ch. 11. 29. 
ch. 13. 25, 

e ch. 3. 27. 
1 Sam. 13. 
3, etc. 

/. ch. 4. 10. 

g cf. ver. 17. 
ch. 7. 10,11. 
Acts 17. 31 
with 1 Cor. 
15. 20, 58. 

6. 31-39. JUDGES. 217 

"And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye 
contend for Baal ? or will ye save him ? He that will 
contend for him, let him be put to death while it is yet 
morning : if he be God, let him contend for himself, be- 
cause one hath broken down his altar. And he called 
him Jerub-baal that day, saying, Let Baal contend with 
him, because he hath broken down his altar. 

"^ (a) And all Midian and Amalek and the children of 
the east were gathered together : and they passed over 
and encamped in the valley of Jezreel. And the ■* Spirit 
of Jehovah endued Gideon, and he blew the ^trumpet, 
and Abiezer was called out after him ; and he sent -^mes- 
sengers through all Manasseh, who also were called out 
after him ; and he sent messengers into Asher, and 
into Zebulon and into Naphtali ; and they advanced to 
meet them. 

(6) And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel 
by my hand, as thou hast said, behold, I put a » fleece of 
wool upon the threshing-floor : if dew be on the fleece 
alone, and it be dry on all the ground, then shall I know 
that thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast 
said. And it was so : for he rose up early on the mor- 
row, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the 
dew out of the fleece, a bowl-full of water. And Gideon 

"add virtue," — the boldness needed by every good soldier of Christ ; and this 
boldness is God's means to awaken aud embolden others, so that Joash, his 
father, steps into the ranks. To the cry for his son to be put to death, he 
answers that the pleader for Baal deserves that : it is for Baal himself to avenge 
the iusult, — a sarcasm which smites down at once the opposition, aud leaves to 
Gideon the title of idol-challenger, " Let Baal contend !" In the strife that is 
beginning, the very existence of the man of faith is a sign of victory already 
achieved, a pledge of one to *ome. 

( ii.) The enemy now appears, and we are called to see, in the present section, 
the steps toward deliverance. There has to be preparation on Israel's part, as is 
evident ; and the separation of those whom God can use in the accomplishment 
of this. Gracious He is, but none the less careful as to the associations of those 
who are His instruments, to whom He intrusts the honor of His name. 

(a) The Midianites and their confederates spread themselves in the valley of 
Jezreel. We have already seen who these are, and for what they stand in the 
divine vocabulary. The Spirit of Jehovah now endues Gideon ; for no mere 
wisdom or might of man is sufficient in this contest, and only in dependence 
are we safe. He blows the trumpet, and first Abiezer, and then all Manasseh, 
are gathered after him. The fitness of Manasseh for this place is apparent in 
Gideon, himself a Manassite. The world can only be overcome by him whose 
goal is beyond it ; and this we have abundantly seen is what Manasseh rep- 
resents. Asher, the "happy," Zebulon, the "dweller in relationship," and 
Naphtali, the "struggler" who overcomes, follow after Manasseh, and the 
Israelites' army of victory is gathered. 

(&) But Gideon is not yet fully prepared, and urges upon the Lord his desire 
for a sign. He puts a fleece of wool upon the threshing-floor, and finds it in the 
morning wet with dew when all the ground is dry around. And again, at his 
further request, these conditions are reversed, and while all the ground is wet 
with dew, the fleece is dry. The fleece of the shorn sheep is the figure of forlorn 
Israel, which is to be filled with the dew of God's blessing amid the drought 



6. 39-7. 6. 

c (vll. 1-8.) 
The conse- 

said unto God, *Let not thine anger kindle against 
me and I will speak but this once. Let me 'prove, I 
pray thee, this once with the fleece : let it now be dry 
on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be 
dew. And God did so that night : for it was dry upon 
the fleece alone, and on all the ground there was dew. 

(c) And Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people 
with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the spring 
of Harod ; and the camp of Midian was north of him, 
by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And Jehovah said 
unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are •^too 
many for me to give Midian into their hand, lest Israel 
vaunt themselves against me, saying, *My hand hath 
saved me. Now therefore, proclaim in the ears of the 
people, saying. Whoever is 'fearful and afraid, let him 
turn away again from Mount Gilead. And there re- 
turned of the people twenty-two thousand ; and there 
remained '"ten thousand. And Jehovah said unto Gid- 
eon, The people are "still many: bring them down to 
the water, and "I will try them for thee there; and it 
shall be that of whom I say unto thee, This man shall 
go with thee, he shall go with thee ; and of whomso- 
ever I say unto thee. This man shall not go with thee, 
he shall not go. So he brought the people down to the 
water ; and Jehovah said unto Gideon, Every one that 
''lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, 
him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that 
boweth on his knees to drink. And the number of 
those that lapped, with their hand to their mouth, was 

h Gen.18.32. 

i c/. Mai. 8. 

j ver. 4. 
of. 1 Cor. 1. 

Dan. 4. 30, 

I Deut. 20. 8. 
1 Cor.16.13, 

m ch. 4. 6. 

n ver. 2. 

q/. 1 Sam. 
16. 8, 7. 

14. S4-30. 
cf. 1 Cor. 7. 
29-31 with 
2 Tim.4.10. 

upon the heathen around. But then this also may be of God, the -while His 
mercies are refreshing the nations around, Israel for her sins may be left dry. 
This is, in either case, no mere natural occurrence : it is in His favor that there 
is life ; He hideth His face, and we are troubled. To recognize His hand in all 
conditions, however opposite, — to ovra everywhere His power and sway: this is 
the secret of wisdom, and of strength no less. For the acts of His throne are not 
arbitrary. He is no mere personal fate, but righteous and holy in all His deal- 
ings, and desiring to be understood by His people, however men in their wan- 
derings from Him may misconceive the One upon whom they have turned their 

(c) With his faith refreshed, Jerubbaal, the challenger of the idols, who is 
thus Gideon, the "cutter-down," rises up early, with all the people with him, 
and encamps opposite the enemy by the spring of trembling (Harod). And 
there, right in the presence of the vast host of Midian he is made by God to dis- 
miss more than two thirds of his small army (at its best not a fourth part of the 
number of their adversaries), and that in obedience to a law of Deuteronomy. 
And what a humiliation and distress that 22,000 Israelites, come out expressly 
to battle, should on the plea of /ear turn their backs upon their leader and his 
diminished force ! But the de.sign was not merely to get rid of the faint-hearted : 
for God's hand to be manifest as He meant it to be, ten thousand men were still 
too many. At the word of the Lord they are brought down to the water, and 
tested there by their manner of drinking. Three hundred, instead of bowing 
down on their knees for a leisurely draught, merely, as in haste, lap the water 
from their hand. They are true Manassites, pressing on to what is before them ; 
and "by the three hundred men that lapped will I save you," is the Lord's 

7. 6-16. 



An experi- 
the boat. 

3. (Ch. vli. 
16-vilI. 21.) 
"Victory re- 

Tne power 
In weak- 
ness: "that 
the excel- 
lency of the 
power may 
be of God." 

three hundred men ; but all the rest of the people bowed 
down upon their knees to drink water. And Jehovah 
said unto Gideon, By the 'three hundred men that 
lapped will I save you, and give Midian into thy hand; 
and let all the people go, every man to his place. And 
they took ''victuals [for] the people in their hand, and 
their 'trumpets ; but he sent all Israel, every man to 
his tent, and retained the three hundred men. 

(d) And the camp of Midian was below him in the val- 
ley. And it was so in that night that Jehovah said 
unto him, Arise, go down to the camp : for I 'have 
given it into thy hand. But if thou fearest to go down, 
go down thyself and Phurah thy servant unto the camp, 
and hear what "they say ; and after that thy hands shall 
be strengthened to go down to the camp. And he went 
down with Phurah his servant to the outside of the 
armed men that were in the camp. Now Midian and 
Amalek and all the children of the east lay along in 
the valley, like "locusts for multitude, and their camels 
were numberless, as the sand that is on the sea-shore 
for multitude. And when Gideon came, behold, a man 
telling his comrade a dream. And he said, Behold, I 
have dreamed a dream, and lo, a round cake of ""barley- 
bread rolled into the camp of Midian, and came to the 
tent, and smote it so that it fell, and turned it upside 
down, and the tent lay along. And his comi'ade an- 
swered and said. This is nothing else than the sword 
of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel : into his 
hand hath God given Midian and all the camp. And 
so it was, when Gideon heard the tale of the dream and 
the interpretation thereof, that he ' worshiped. And he 
returned to the camp of Israel and said, Rise up, for 
Jehovah hath given into your hand the camp of Midian. 

^ (a) And he divided the three hundred men into three 

g 1 Sam. 
H. 6. 

r ver. 5. 
2 Tim. 2. 

s ch. 6. 34. 
Neh. 4. 18. 

t 2 Sam. 5. 

u Josh. 2. 9, 

V ch. 6. 5. 
PS. 118. 12. 
Jer. 46. 23. 

i« Num. 5. 
<^. Jno. 6.9. 

X Ex. 4. 29- 

Josh. 6. 13 

word to Gideon ; ' ' and let all the people go, every man to his place. ' ' They do 
not seem to be sent home, however, but to their tents, as not needed for the 
battle that was before them. 

(d) The Lord recognizes, however, the strain of all this upon Gideon's faith, 
and Himself tenderly proposes now a means of encouragement. This the enemy 
themselves were to furnish. Going down with Phurah, his sen'ant, to the out- 
skirts of the camp, he arrives just in time to hear one of the men interpret to his 
comrade a dream. The dreamer had seen a round cake of common barley-bread 
roll against the tent and overthrow it ; and his comrade interprets it of " the 
sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel, into whose hand God has 
given Midian and all the camp. " " Bread ' ' and a ' ' sword ' ' seem most incon- 
gruous figures ; and yet they are both figures of the word of Grod ; and barley 
bread — bread of the poorest kind — may in this case either speak of it according 
to the estimation of its despisers, or more probably of even its simplest and 
lowest truths. For what more than these are needed as against Midian and 
Amalek ; that is, the world and the lusts of the flesh, as here making inroad 
into the Church of God ? 

(ili.) (a) And now we come to realized deliverance, in which the hand of 
the Lord is most manifestly seen. The means of victoiy are so clearly inter- 




7. 16-21. 

y cf. 2 Tim. 
2. 20, 21. 

2 cf. Matt. 
5. 14, 15. 

a cf. 1 Cor. 
11. 1. 
Phil. 4. 9. 

6 ch. 6. 34. 
Ezek. 33.3. 
Zech. 9. 14. 

1 Cor. 14. 8. 

c 1 Th. 5. 3. 

d cf. 2 Cor. 
4. 6-12. 

2 Cor. 12. 9, 

e cf Phil. 2. 

companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, 
and 2' empty pitchers, and * torches within the pitchers. 
And he said unto them, "Look on me, and do likewise ; 
and behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it 
shall be that as I do, so shall ye do : when I 'blow with 
the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye 
the trumpet also on every side of all the camp, and say. 
For Jehovah and for Gideon ! And Gideon came, and 
the hundred men that were with him, to the extremity 
of the camp, in the beginning of the 'middle watch, 
when they had but newly set the watch ; and they blew 
the trumpets, and ''brake the pitchers that were in their 
hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, 
and brake the pitchers, and *held the torches in their 
left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to 
blow with ; and they cried, Jehovah's sword and Gide- 
on's ! And they stood every man in his place round 
about the camp ; and all the host ran ; and they shout- 

preted for us by the apostle (2 Cor. iv. 4-12) that it is hardly possible to go 
astray, while it is true, and nowise strange, that the type is transcended by the 
antitype. The light, the earthen vessel, and the shining forth of the light, are 
sufficient points of resemblance ; and while in the New Testament these are not 
looked at in connection Avith the discomfiture of the Church's enemies, but in 
the building up of the Church itself, these things are not so far apart as to pre- 
vent very easy and, indeed, instructive comparison and connection with one 
another. To build up the Church aright is impossible without freeing it from 
the domination of the world : how could Israel be built up in the midst of 
Midianite devastation? Nor will the Church, if not bnilt up, be long free from 
a foreign yoke. The demonic rulei-s of this world rule it by darkness (Eph. vi. 
12). The inheritance of the saints is in light (Col. i. 12), and their armor also 
is "the armor of light" (Rom. xiii. 12). But that armor is not a mere wholly 
outside thing: it is light that is in the face of Christ Jesus, — objeciive there, 
indeed, but which is received into the believer's heart, and received not simply 
for personal joy and ble.ssing, but "for shining forth " (2 Cor. iv. 6, Gk). "The 
glory of God that is in the face of Jesus Christ," has nothing to exjiress it in the 
type here : we could scarcely expect it ; but there is no other light for the 
Christian : there would not he even torchlight without this. 

That the light is in an "earthen vessel " is abundantly plain. This treasui'e 
is enshrined in mere humanity with its manifest infirmity, liable to suffering 
and to death. But this, too, has its design, says the apostle: it is "that the 
excellency of the power may l)e of God, and not of man." This is in the very 
line of truth that the story of the Lord's man of might enforces here. And yet 
the vessel, like the pitchers of the three hundred, tends indeed to shroud and 
bury the light so as to prevent its shining. What is needed, then, that the 
purpose of God may be fulfilled in this way? How plainly we see the spiritual 
requirement ruling here, for the vessel to be hrolen that the light may shine ! 
And so the apostle dwells upon the afflictions of the Christian, "always bearing 
about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be mau- 
ifested in our body; for we who live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' 
sake, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh." 
Thus it is light shining forth in life that is spoken of here; and this life not that 
of nature merely, but Christ our life, which, the more the outward man is con- 
sumed, becomes the more lustrous, the more convincingly of God. 

When the world has invaded the Church, and Israel is scattered in dens and 
caves, this light may be little seen. Its display will always be the confusion of 

7. 21-8. 6. 



(6) (vii. 24- 

vili. 9.) 



ed ; and they -^fled. And the three hundred blew the 
trumpets, and "Jehovah set every man's sword against 
his comrade, and against all the host; and the host 
fled as far as Beth-shittah, toward Zererah, as far as 
the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. And the men 
of Israel were * called together out of Naphtali and out 
of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after 

(6) And Gideon sent messengers through all the hill- 
country of 'Ephraim, saying. Come down against Mid- 
ian, and take before them the waters as far as Bethba- 
rah and Jordan. So all the men of Ephraim were called 
together, and took the waters as far as Bethbarah and 
Jordan. And they took two ■'prince^ of Midian, Oreb 
and Zeeb ; and they slew Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and 
Zeeb they slew at the wine-press of Zeeb ; and they 
pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and 
Zeeb to Gideon beyond Jordan. 

And the men of Ephraim said unto him, *What is 
this that thou hast done to us, that thou calledst us not 
when thou wentest to fight with Midian? And they 
contended with him vehemently. And he said unto 
them. What have I done now in 'comparison with you? 
Are not the gleanings of Ephraim better than the vint- 
age of Abiezer ? Into your hands hath God given the 
princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb ; and what could I do 
in comparison with you ? Then their excitement against 
him abated when he said that. And Gideon came to 
Jordan, [and] passed over, he and the three hundred 
that were with him, ""faint, yet pursuing. And he said 
unto the men of Succoth, "Give, I pray you, loaves of 
bread unto the people that follow me : for they are 
faint ; and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, 
kings of Midian. And the princes of Succoth said, 

/ 2 Ki. 7.6.7. 
Is. 9. 4. 
Heb. 11. 32 

g 1 Sam. 14. 

2 Chr. 20. 

1 Sam. 14. 

1 Sam. 17 

i ch. 3.27,28. 
c/.l Cor.l2. 
21, etc. 

} Vs. 83. 11, 

Is. 9. 4. 
Is. 10. 26. 

k cf. ch. 

2 Sam. 19. 

1 Ki. 12. 16. 
ctr. Is. 11. 
13, 14. 
Ezek. 37.15 

I cf. Prov. 
15. 1 
with Phil. 
2. 3, 4. 
ctr. ch. 12. 
with Gal. 
5. 15. 

m ctr. Gen. 
25. 29. 
cf. 1 Sam. 
30. 10. 

2 Sam. 21. 

Is. 40. 31. 

nlSam. 21. 
ctr. Josh.2. 

Midian and its overthrow, accomplished as it must and will be by the voice of 
the trumpet, once so effective in the destruction of Jericho. The light and the 
trumpet — the testimony of the Word and the testimony of the life — this is the 
double testimony which is true, and so effective, and which is the destruction of 
the world-church. Face to face with it, the mere godless profession, self- 
condemned, dies by its own hand. 

(6) Hardly is victory achieved, and the fruits of it remain yet largely to be 
gathered, when opposition shows itself on the part of Israel themselves. 
Ephraim is now called to take part in the contest, and they respond and gain a 
decisive battle, taking two princes of Midian — Oreb and Zeeb, the ' ' Raven ' ' and 
the "Wolf," — and bringing their heads to Gideon, on the other side of Jordan. 
There is, indeed, a place for Ephraim in such a contest as this, though it is not 
the first place. The spiritual meaning again illumines the history; and the 
names of the princes slain would seem to show them to represent only the ruder 
and lower of Israel's — or the Church's — enemies ; indeed, according to the plain 
word, "princes," and not "kings." 

But Ephraim is notorious also for pride, and it is that very first place that 
they fain would have. They contend vehemently with their deliverer, because 
they were not called when he went to fight Midian, and are only appeased by 



8. 6-20. 

(c) (vlll. 10- 

Full deliv- 

ocJ.X Sam. 
25. 10-13. 

p c/. ch. 21. 

5 ch. 18. 10- 

"Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy 
hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? 
And Gideon said, Therefore, when Jehovah hath given 
Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then will I thresh 
your flesh with thorns of the wilderness and with 

And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake in like 
manner unto them ; and the men of Penuel answered 
him as the men of Succoth had answered. And he 
spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, ^When I 
come again in peace, I will break down this tower. 

(c) Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and 
their host with them, about fifteen thousand men, all 
that were left of all the hosts of the children of the 
east, for there had fallen one hundred and twenty 
thousand men that drew the sword. And Gideon went 
up by the way of them that dwelt in tents, on the east 
of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host : for the 
host was 'secure. And Zebah and Zalmunna fled; but 
he pursued after them, and took the two kings of 
Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the 
host. And Gideon the son of Joash returned from the 
battle, from the ascent of Heres. And he caught a 
youth,of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him ; and 
he wrote down for him the princes of Succoth and the 
elders thereof, seventy seven men. And he came unto 
the men of Succoth, and said. Behold Zebah and Zal- 
munna about whom ye taunted me, saying, Are the 
hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy hand, that we 
should give bread unto thy men that are faint ? And 
he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilder- 
ness and briers, and with them he taught the men of 
Succoth. And he "■ brake down the tower of Penuel, 
and slew the men of the city. And he said unto Zebah 
and Zalmunna, What sort of men were they whom ye 
slew at Tabor? And they answered. Such as thou art 
they were : they each resembled the children of a king. 
And he said. They were my brethren — my mother's 
sons : as Jehovah liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I 
would not slay you. And he said unto Jether his first- 
born. Up ; slay them ! But the youth drew not his 
sword ; for he feared, because he was yet a youth. 

Gideon's unpretending humility, who refers all to God, if in his eyes, in fact, 
Ephraim's gleanings seem more than Abiezer's vintage. 

Thence he goes on to meet scornful refusal of even necessary food for his fam- 
ishing company from the Israelite towns of Succoth and Penuel. But he does 
not pause for the retribution with which he threatens them : " faint though pur- 
suing," they press on. 

(c) Of the completion of the deliverance from Midian little can be yet said. 
Much depends here upon the names, the meaning of some of which is hard to 
determine. Zebah means "sacrilice"; Zalmunna apparently "shadow [shel- 
ter?] withheld." Karkor, from a root "to dig," expre&ses "deep, soft, level 

r ver. 9. 
c/. Lk. 19. 

8. 21-27. 



4. (vlll. 22- 
82.) Gide- 
on's failure 
and after- 

s cf. Gen.31. 
ver. 24-26. 

t ctr. ch. 11. 

1 Sam. 8. 


c/.Is. 33.22. 

u ctr. Num. 
31. 48-M. 

Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall on 
us : for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon 
arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna; and he 'took 
away the moons that were on their camels' necks. 

*And the men of Israel said unto Gideon, 'Rule thou 
over us, thyself, and thy son, and thy son's son also ; for 
thou hast saved us out of the hand of Midian. And Gid- 
eon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall 
my son rule over you : Jehovah shall rule over you. And 
Gideon said unto them, I would make a "request of you, 
that ye would every one give me the rings of his spoil. 
(For they had golden rings, because they were Ishmael- 
ites.) And they said. We will willingly give them. And 
they spread a garment, and cast on it every one the rings 
of his spoil. And the weight of the golden rings that 
he had requested was a thousand and seven hundred 
[shekels] of gold, beside the moons and ear-rings, and 
the purple garments that were on the kings of Midian, 
and beside the chains that were upon their camels' 
necks. And Gideon made them into an ephod, and 

ground" (Fausset) — generally is given as "deep ground;" Jogbehah, "eleva- 
tion," or, "it is exalted;" Nobah, "barking." The scoffers of Succoth and 
Penuel meet their threatened judgment after Midian. 

(iv.) Gideon's career, so bright and prosperous hitherto, ends yet, alas, in 
sadden and disastrous failure. What worm has been at the root of all this 
beauteous development, that collapse should be so immediate upon success? 
There must surely be in it deep lessons of utter self-distrust, that we are called 
to learn, lessons that so to learn would save us from how much, perhaps, of painful 
experience, much like that of the elders of Succoth, taught as with the thorns 
and briars of the wilderness, the fruit of the curse which has come through sin. 

One test, and that a severe one, Gideon successfully resists. The people bid 
him rule over them, and would establish royalty in his family among them ; but 
he declines so promptly as effectually to prevent any repetition of the offer : "I 
will not rule over you," he says, "neither shall my son rule over you : Jehovah 
shall rule over you. ' ' There it is plain he speaks out of the depth of strong con- 
viction and loving obedience. And though God Himself had spoken permissively 
of a king for Israel some time in the future, Gideon had known too much of his 
own weakness, too much of the people with whom he had to do, and too well the 
Lord's abundant care and interest in Israel, to entertain for a moment the thought 
of anticipating this. 

Yet in the same breath, it would seem, in which he rejects the kingship, he 
stretches forth his hand to take the priesthood : for nothing short of this can be 
meant by the use to which he puts the gifts which he now solicits from them, 
being the rings of the spoil. They had, it is added, golden rings, because they 
were Ishmaelites. The identification of these with the Midianites has been 
before noticed : they were Ishmaelites as men of strife, according to their name ; 
not by descent, of course, but by habit. As warlike nomads it was natural for 
them to carry much of their wealth upon their persons. The use of all this gold 
shows clearly that it is a high priestly ephod that Gideon makes, not as intend- 
ing to dispute the ofiice with the high priest at Shiloh ; and yet apparently 
claiming equal rank with his. 

But what could lead a man like Gideon into such a course? That view is 
surely correct which finds this in a false interpretation of his past experience. 
He had actually offered sacrifice, as we remember, at Ophrah by the Lord's 
command ; and there the altar he had raised still stood. It is simple that for 



8. 27-31. 

put it in his city Ophrah ; and all Israel went thither 
"whoring after it, and it became a snare to Gideon, and 
to his house. 

So Midian was humbled before the children of Israel, 
so that they lifted up their head ""no more : and the 
land was quiet ''forty years in the days of Gideon. 
And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his 
own house. And Gideon had seventy sons who came 
out of his loins, for he had "many wives. And his con- 
cubine, who was in Shechem, she also bare him a son. 

V ch. 2. 3. 

iv Num. 25. 

Num. 31.1- 

X ch. 5. 31. 
ch. 10. 2. 

y cf. Deut. 
17. 17. 
1 Ki. 11. 1 

this he M-as providing according to the Mosaic ritual, God having, as he might 
judge, already ordaiued him to this office : a plausible, and yet false, inference 
from a real experience. We need not VFOuder to hear that this became a snare 
to Gideon and his house, nor that all Israel went whoring after it. We can find 
in it what the generations of an after-dispensation have but too faithfully re- 
peated, and thus types written for our admonition. 

God had appointed but one high priest for Israel, and the ordinary priesthood 
was confined to the same line, the family of Aaron. The essence of this priest- 
hood was that they were mediators for the people, and, by sacrifice, a special, 
peculiar link between the people and God : in this way alone could they draw 
near to God. 

For us as Christians all this is changed. In Christianity people and priests 
are one, and on this account the special priesthood has passed away. We are no 
longer at a distance, but brought nigh : the effectual sacrifice has been offered 
once for all — a.s on the day of atonement, by the High Priest alone, who has 
thereupon, as for a moment Israel's high priest did, gone into the sanctuary, 
but a heavenly one, there to make intercession for us in the presence of God. 
The rent veil, the throned High Priest, the universal priesthood of the people of 
God, are essential characteristics of the period in which, through grace, we live. 

But the Church has failed, and not proved able to retain for herself the appre- 
hension of this grace. Mingled with and sunk into the world, the shadows of 
the have been allowed to darken the light into which the gooduess of God 
had introduced her. Distance has again come in between the people of God and 
God, the knowledge of the efficacy of the work of Christ has become obscured, 
{ind as a result the Jewish system, in the disguise of Christian names and forms, 
is found to-day firmly entrenched in the midst of Christendom. The old priest- 
hood of a distinctive class, modified in various ways, is fully reinstated, and 
even exaggerated in the Romish and kindred ritualistic systems : an invasion of 
Christ's office in the direction of what Gideon's failure seems to point to typically 
in no uncertain way. 

He had, indeed, been commanded to build an altar to Jehovah, and even to 
oifer sacrifice upon it : and this was really putting him in a priestly place. But 
his sacrifice does not seem to have the mediatorial character which attached to 
the Aaronic priesthood, but to be rather eucharistic, or intended to vindicate 
the Lord's claim to the worship of Israel in opposition to Baal, whose altar l>ad 
just been overthrown. Gideon's sacrifice, therefore, though iu form such as that 
offered by the Aaronic priesthood, seems really different, and to approach iu in- 
tent more truly to the "sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving" of tlie Christian 
man. But the ephod — clearly high-priestly — speaks far otherwise ; the high- 
priest being manifestly the representative of the nation before God ; and Israel 
going whoring aft«r it, intimates how they understood it. Its being made with 
the spoils of victory — of which it would remain a perpetual troplij' — may show 
how in Christendom, as faith lessened and grew rare, the very piety of individ- 
uals tended to put them into a place which, from being foremost, came to be 
official and representative. The ordinary Christians became the secular, the 
laity, dropped back into the old distance, needing a continually greater work to 

8. 31-9. 5. 



lech, the 
false suc- 

1. (vili. 33- 

Ix. 21.) 
Origin of 
his power. 

and he called his name 'Abimelech. And Gideon the 
son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in 
the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abi- 

(VIII. 33-IX.) 

2. ^And it came to pass, when Gideon was "dead, that 
the children of Israel returned and went whoring after 
the Baals, and set up Baal-berith as their god. And the 
children of Israel did not * remember Jehovah their 
God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their 
enemies round about, nor did they show 'kindness to 
the house of Jerubbaal-Gideon, according to all the 
good that he had done to Israel. 

And •* Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shech- 
em, to his mother's brethren, and spake unto them and 
to all the family of the house of his mother's father, 
saying, Speak now in the ears of all the loi'ds of Shech- 
em. Which is better for you, that seventy persons, all 
sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule 
over you? and remember that I am your "bone and 
your flesh. And his mother's brethren spake for him 
all these things in the ears of all the lords of Shechem ; 
and their heart inclined after Abimelech ; for they said. 
He is our brother. And they gave him seventy pieces 
of silver out of the house of •''Baal-berith ; and Abime- 
lech hired with them s' worthless and reckless persons, 
and they followed him. And he went to his father's 

z ch.9.1, etc. 

« ch.4.1,etc. 
c/. Hos.6.4. 
Gal. 1. 6. 

h Ps. 78. 11. 
Ps. 106. 13. 
c/. Rev. 2. 

c ch.9.16-19. 

a ch. 8. 31. 

e ctT.l Sam. 
5. 1. 

/ch. 8. 33. 
ver. 46. 

g ch. 11. 3. 
ctr. 1 Sam. 

bring them nigh, until an official priesthood intruded upon the work of Christ 
without rebuke, and the process of Jadaizing became as complete as may be 
seen in Romanism. 

We need not wonder, then, to find this a snare to Gideon and his house, nor 
soon an Abimelech proceeding from the loins of Jerubbaal, the deliverer. Tliis 
we are now called to consider. 

2. Abimelech ("my father [was] king"), in his name, can-ies us back to the 
Philistines. It was that of their kings, and speaks, as we saw in Genesis, of 
that successional claim in the world-church, the falsehood of which he so plainly 
represents. His succession is from one who refused power when offered him, 
and he makes it good by treacheiy and murder of those who stood in his way. 
His typical connection with his father's ephod is easy to be seen, and confirms 
the application of the whole history here. 

Israel had once again lapsed into idolatry, and taken Baal-berith to be their 
god. The words mean " lord of the covenant, " which may be simply equivalent 
to " covenant-lord," and may go beyond this. The worship of Baal was at least 
a sign of covenant with the Canaanites, whose god he was, and the history here 
gives manifest proof of alliance with the heathen. The ' ' men of Hamor, the 
father of Shechem," are known and in estimation among them (ix. 28); and the 
word for " lords " {baale), unusual in Hebrew, is "often found in the Phoenician 
dialect." It is applied, says Fausset, "to the men of Gibeah (ch. xx. 5), and 
the Canaanite citizens of Jericho (Josh. xxiv. 11), aud to the men of Keilah 
(1 Sam. xxiii. 11, 12). The continual recuiTence of this word (ver. 2, 6, 7, 18, 
20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 39, 46, 47, 51) can hardly be accidental; it probably alludes to 
the majority of them being Canaanites, and connects with the Phoenician Baal- 
worship of Canaan" — Baalites, as it were. In this way, also, the name Jerub- 
baal is so often harped upon. Baal-worship and intermixture with the Canaan- 



9. 5-15. 

house at Ophrah, and *slew his brethren the sons of 
Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone ; but there re- 
mained Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, for he 
*'hid himself. 

And all the lords of Shechem gathered together, and 
all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech 
•'king, at the oak of the monument that is at Shechem. 
And they told Jotham ; and he went and stood upon 
the top of Mount *Gerizim, and lifted up his voice and 
cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye lords 
of Shechem, and God shall heai-ken unto you. The 
trees once went to anoint a king over them ; and they 
said unto the olive. Reign over us. And the olive said 
unto them, Shall I leave my 'fatness, wherewith by me 
they ""honor God and men, and go to wave over the 
trees? And the trees said unto the "fig-tree. Come 
thou : reign over us. And the fig-tree said unto them. 
Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to 
wave over the trees? And the trees said unto the 
"vine. Come thou: reign over us. And the vine said 
unto them. Shall I leave my new wine, which ^cheereth 
God and men, and go to wave over the trees ? And all 
the trees said unto the 'thorn-bush, Come thou : reign 
over us. And the thorn-bush said unto the trees, If 
in truth ye are anointing me king over you, come and 
take shelter in my shadow ; but if not, let fire come out 
of the thorn-bush, and 'devour the cedars of Lebanon. 

h cf. Glen. 4. 

i 2 Kl. 11. 

j 1 Sam. 8.5. 
Hos. 13. 10, 

ctr. ch. 8. 

k Deut. 27. 

I Ps. 104. 15. 

OT </.Ex. 30. 
with Acts 
1 Jno.2.2.7. 

n cf. Matt. 
21. 19. 

o cf. 18.5.1-6 
with Jno. 
15. 1-8. 

p cf. Lk. 22. 
1 Cor. 11. 

q cf. Heb. 

Gal. 5. 13. 
1 Jno. 3.18. 
Lk. 22. 27. 
Phil. 2. 3- 

r cf. Gal. 5. 
14, 15. 
Kzek. 34. 

ites are certainly found at their worat in the story of crime and bloodshed 
following here. 

Idolatry and the reign of Abimelech are thus connected, as in the dispensa- 
tional fulfillment; and Shechem, at the very spot where the law of Jehovah was 
proclaimed, is now the center of apostasy. 

(i.) The sources of his power are plainly that he is half Canaanite, half 
Israelite, son of Gideon on the one side, though son of the bondwoman on the 
other. He is, in this respect, another lahmael ; and with the same typical 
meaning that the apostle (Gal. iv.) gives to the former one. How plainly we 
have in him, then, the Jewish-Christian-Pagan abomination that has arisen in 
the bosom of Christianity to lord it over the Israel of God. Naturally his way 
must be prepared by the extermination of Jerubbaal's true successors, although 
a remnant escapes into hiding at Beer, the "well," — a good place for God's 
refugees, — in the person of Jotham, who yet is able to make heard his testi- 
mony against the usurper. 

Jotham ("Jehovah is perfect") bears in his name the character of a true 
witness. The Shechemites, with shameless audacity, gather at the stone set up 
by Joshua, to make the fratricide Abimelech king ; and there Jotham appeals 
to them from Gerizim in the fable of the trees. 

The tendency of man's heart is to make another king than God, to put leaders 
in His place, and thus to destroy the use and blessing for which the olive, the 
fig, the vine, the various gifts of God, are given. But just those who are really 
worthiest will most surely refuse to leave their spheres of happy service, their 
Bweetneas, and their fruit, to go to "wave over," — to flutter idly in the wind 
over the trees. Thus royalty comes naturally to the thorn-bush, which need 
give up nothing, but which has thus nothing in its gift but thorns, — such as, 
indeed, the men of Succoth were taught with. But worse would come thau 

Strife and 
and Abi- 


s cS- ch. 6.31, 
ch. 7. l.elc. 

t ver. 24, 66. 

V cf. Gen. 

w c/.lKi.l2. 

9. 16-28. JUDGES. 

And now if ye have acted in truth and integi-ity in 
making Abimelech king, and have done well toward 
* Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him accord- 
ing to the desert of his hands — for my father fought for 
you, and disregarded his life, and delivered you out of 
the hand of Midian ; but ye are risen up this day against 
my father's house, and have slain his sons, seventy men, 
upon one stone, and have made Abimelech the son of his 
handmaid king over the lords of Shechem, because he 
is your brother — if you have acted in truth and integ- 
rity toward Jerubbaal and his house to-day, then rejoice 
in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you ; but if 
not, then let 'fire come out of Abimelech and devour 
the lords of Shechem and the house of Millo ; and let 
fire come out of the lords of Shechem and the house of 
Millo, and "devour Abimelech. And Jotham ran away 
aud fled, and went to "Beer and dwelt there, away from 
Abimelech his brother. 

^And Abimelech had power over Israel three years ; 
then God sent an "evil spirit between Abimelech and 
the lords of Shechem, and the lords of Shechem dealt 
treacherously with Abimelech : that the violence [done] 
to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their 
blood be brought upon Abimelech their brother, who 
slew them, and upon the lords of Shechem, who 
strengthened his hands to slay his brethren. And the 
lords of Shechem set liers in wait for him on the tops of 
the mountains; and they * robbed all who came along 
by them in the way : and it was told Abimelech. And 
Gaal the son of Ebed came, and his brethren, and they 
passed over into Shechem, and the lords of Shechem 
put confidence in him. And they Avent out into the 
field, and gathered of their vineyards, and trod it, and 
made festival, and went to the house of their god, and 
ate, and drank, and "cursed Abimelech. And Gaal the 
son of Ebed said. Who is Abimelech ? and who is Shech- 
em, that we should serve him ? Is he not the son of 
Jerubbaal? and Zebul his ofiicer? Serve the men of 

this, — the fire of God's wrath, which, from this side and from that, would 
destroy both king and people. 

(ii.) The Jothams are seldom listened to ; and the men of Shechem and Abime- 
lech go on to the end of which they have been warned. Three years pass, and the 
prediction is fulfilled: the people ofShechem act treacherously toward Abimelech, 
and Abimelech wars against and destroys Shechem. This is all described with a 
fullness of detail which shows that there is much more in it than the concerns of 
a petty Israelitish city ; yet as little more than this do the commentators treat it. 
Nor can we expect that full light upon it all should be acquired at once. But 
taking Abimelech as depicting in brief the growth and catastrophe of Romish 
power in Christendom, we may perhaps see in Gaal, the son of Ebed, the "loathing" 
bred of " servitude, " which is but indeed the translation of his name, and which 
incites the nations to cast off their allegiance to him whom they first lifted into 
power. Well may the descendants of the "wild ass " (Hamor) rebel against so 
harsh a yoke as they had put their necks into ! But it is another matter to 

X cf. ch. 5. 6. 

y cf. Ps. 109. 
Pb. 7. 16. 



9. 28-43 

Hamor — the father of Shechem ! and ou what account 
should we serve him ? and 'would that this people were 
under my hand ! then Avould I remove Abimelech ! 
And he said unto Abimelech, Increase thine army, and 
come forth ! 

And Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words 
of Gaal the son of Ebed, and his anger was kindled ; 
and he sent messengers craftily to Abimelech, saying, 
Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren are come 
into Shechem, and lo, they urge the city against thee. 
And now rise up by night, thou and the people that 
are with thee, and "lie in wait in the fields ; and it shall 
be that in the morning, when the sun is up, thou shalt 
rise early and set upon the city ; and behold, when he and 
his people that are with him come out of the city, thou 
shalt do to him as thy hand shall find. And Abimelech 
and all the people that were with him rose up by night, 
and lay in wait by Shechem in four companies. And 
Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance 
of the gate of the city ; and Abimelech rose up, and the 
people that were with him, from their ambush. And 
Gaal saw the people, and said unto Zebul, Behold, there 
are people coming down ffom the tops of the moun- 
tains. And Zebul said unto him. Thou seest the shad- 
ows of the mountains as if they were men. And Gaal 
spake again and said. Behold, people are coming down 
from the highest point of the land, and a company are 
come by the way of the magicians' oak. And Zebul 
said unto him. Where is now thy mouth with which 
thou saidst, *Who is Abimelech, that we should serve 
him ? Is not this the people thou hast despised ? Go 
out, I pray thee, now, and fight with them. And Gaal 
went out before the lords of Shechem, and fought with 
Abimelech. And Abimelech "chased him, and he fled 
before him ; and there fell many wounded up to the 
entrance of the gate. And Abimelech remained at Aru- 
mah ; and Zebul drave out Gaal and his brethren, that 
they should not stay in Shechem. And it came to pass 
on the morrow that the people went out into the field, 
and they told Abimelech. And he took the people, and 
divided them into <^ three companies, and lay in wait in 
the field. And he looked, and behold, there were the 


a <:/. ch. 6. 

b ver. 28. 

d cj. ch.7.16. 

escape from it ; aud Zebul (which looks like Zebulon, but a little clipped), whose 
character throughout is that of craft, aud ^vho is Abimelech's officer to retain the 
city in obedience, may easily represent the apparent sanctity wherewith a i>ower 
like that of Rome so well kuows how to enforce its claims. Look but a little 
closer, and the ambiguity begins to appear. Zebul is nearly allied to Jezebel, 
still more evidently to Beelzebul,* — being identical, iudeed, with the last part 
of this name, and thus may be really ' ' dung, " as it is there. 

• The true reading, as Is well known, of Matt. x. 25. Notice that Jezebel has also this sinister 
ambiguity: it may mean " chaste," her pretension, or " duug-heap," the reality. And this, too, Is 
a s>Tiibol of Romanism ! 

9. 43-57. 



people coming out of the city; and lie rose up upon 
them and smote them. And Abimelech and the com- 
panies that were with him rushed on, and stood at the 
entrance of the gate of the city, and the two companies 
rushed upon all that were in the field, and smote them. 
And Abimelech fought against the city all that day ; 
and he took the city, and slew the people that were in 
it, and brake down the city, and 'soAved it with salt. 

And when all the lords of the tower of Shechem heard 
it, they entered the stronghold of the house of •''El-be- 
rith. And it was told Abimelech that all the lords of 
the tower of Shechem were gathered together. And 
Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the 
people that were with him. And Abimelech took an 
axe in his hand, and cut a bough from the trees, and 
took it up, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto 
the people that were with him. What ye have seen me 
do, make haste and do likewise. And all the people 
likewise cut off every man his bough, and followed 
Abimelech ; and they put them to the "hold, and set the 
hold on fire upon them : and all the men of the tower 
of Shechem died also — about a thousand men and 

And Abimelech went to Thebez, and encamped against 
Thebez, and took it. And there was a strong tower in 
the midst of the city, and thither fled all the men and 
women, and all the lords of the city, and shut it behind 
them, and went up upon the roof of the tower. And 
Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against 
it, and approached as far as the entrance of the tower, 
to burn it with fire. And a certain * woman cast an 
upper millstone upon Abimelech's head, and crushed 
his skull. And he called hastily unto the young man 
his * armor-bearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, 
and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew 
him. And his young man thi-ust him thi'ough, and he 
died. And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech 
was dead, they ^went every man to his place. Thus 
God 'returned the wickedness of Abimelech which he 
did unto his father in slajing his seventy brethren, and 
all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God re- 

/ch. 8.33. 

24, ver. 20. 

A 2 Sa. 11.21. 
cf. ch. 5.24- 

i 1 Sa. 31, 4. 

k Ps. 94. 23. 

It is not the power that makes Abimelech that can unmake him. He prevails 
against Shechem, only to perish by a woman's hand at Thebez.* Here the mill- 
stone reminds ns of Babylon's overthrow, where, in Rev, xviii. 21, the symbol 
of the Old Testament prophet is taken up by the New. In these Babylon hei-self 
is figured by the millstone, as the hard and merciless grinder of God's wheat. 
In the story in Judges, the millstone is the cause of Abimelech's destruction; yet 
these two things are almost one : it is character that brings destruction from 
God ; and the woman's hand, what is it but the Church of God whose cries have 
gone up to God, and who in this way brings the punishment ? The mill-stone 

• Suggested by another : Thebez, " brightness," aiming at glory : in contrast with a glorified 
church, Rome meets her doom. 


The resur- 
rection of 

Israel : 
looking on 
to the day 

of glory, 

1. (X. 1, 2.) 
Tola: au- 
thority in 
the hands 
of the obe- 
dient one. 


9. 57-10. 2. 

turn upon their heads ; and upon them came the curse 
of 'Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. 

fX. 1-5.) 

3. ^And after Abimelech there ""arose to save Israel Tola, 
the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, 
and he dwelt in Shamir in Mount Ephraim. And he 
judged Israel three and twenty years, and died, and 
was buried in Shamir. 

I vers. 20^1. 

m ch. 8. 28. 

and the woman's hand are thus really complementary thoughts that perfect the 

3. Tola and Jair, following Abimelech, are in most marked and significant con- 
trast with him. No warlike deeds are recorded of them : Israel seems to have 
enjoyed the most entire peace daring the forty-five years of their united judge- 
ship. Absolutely nothing is recordeii of Tola except his descent, the place of 
his residence and burial, and the length of time during which he judged Israel. 
Of Jair personally even less is given ; but the fact is noticed of his thirty sons 
who all attained to dignity in Israel. Out of these few and apparently not very 
important items we are to gather whatever spiritual lessons they can furnish. 

That it is a flourishing period for the nation is quite consistent with there 
being but little history. Man's record is largely one of sorrows and crimes; 
and men whose names are written in large letters across the page get mostly their 
place there through either their own sins or those of others. Of these men their 
names are their sufficient witness, evidently because they answer to them : they 
are what they profess to be. Of each it is said that " he arose," and of Tola that 
he "arose to save Israel," — more, perhaps, by what he was than by what he 
did ; but the words mark, evidently, a resurrection time in Israel ; the words 
"there arose after Abimelech to save Israel," seem to connect also in some way 
the previous section with the present ; in what manner we may shortly learn. 

(i.) The name of Tola has already been before us, as that of the head of a 
family in Issachar, to which tribe the present Tola also belongs. His name is 
that of the crimson "worm," the coccus of the oak, which yielded the ".scarlet" 
or crimson employed in the tabernacle. The cry of the twenty-second psalm, 
" I am a worm, and no man," indicates the self-chosen humiliation of the blessed 
victim. The name Tola here, as that of the judge in Israel, shows at once the 
most striking contrast with Abimelech. It is lowly self-surrender, not self- 
exaltation, that marks this man of Issachar, a tribe which speaks to us also, as 
we have seen, of practical walk. He is the son of Puah, "utterance," who is 
himself the sou of Dodo, "his beloved." Thus out of the consciousness of divine 
love in the soul comes the "utterance " which in the practical life becomes self- 
surrender to God. Tlie Shamir in Mount Ephraim, in which he dwells, though 
different from that which we have before had, which was in Judah (Josh. xv. 48), 
should speak as that does of unchaugeableness; yet not in God as in the Judean 
city, but rather, as its place in Ephraim would imply, of human character. If 
such were, indeed, that of Tola, it is easy to understand the twenty-three years' 
revival under his judgeship. 

But is not this a prophetic glance on to the time when not Israel only, but the 
whole world, shall know the blessing of the rule of the incorruptible judge, of 
whom we cannot but have been reminded in this picture, and of whom we know 
that He transcends it? The reign of the thorn-bush has been all that yet man 
has seen, and the result of his choice of rulers will be nothing else until the 
Abimelechs have received their judgment. Then, indeed, the time of revival 
shall come with the presence of the Risen One, once crowned with the thorn, and 
now with glory forever. If Tola be a type, of whom else can he be a type but 
this? He who has "learned obedience by the things that He hath suffered," 
shall yet bring to obedience, and thus to blessedness in the time to which we 
hasten. Who but He can do this ? 



Jephtbah : 

the head of 


1. (X. 6-18.) 
and repent- 

''And after him arose "Jair, the Gileadite, and hejnch. r2.7. 
judged Israel two and twenty years. And he had thirty 
sons, who rode on thirty ass-colts ; and they had thirty 
cities, which are called unto this day Havvoth-Jair, 
which are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died, and 
was buried in Camon. 

Subdivision 5. 

(Chap. X. 6-xii.) 
the Ammonite raids. 

Soicing and reaping 

(X. 6-XII. 7.) 

l.^AND the children of Israel did "again that which was 
J\_ evil in Jehovah's eyes, and served the Baals and 
the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Syria, and the 
gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of 
the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, 
and forsook Jehovah, and served him not. And the 
anger of Jehovah was kindled against Isi'ael, and he 
sold them into the hand of the ^Philistines, and into the 

ch. 6. 1. 

p Gen.l9.S8. 
ch. 3. 31. 

(ii.) Jair, the Gileadite, seems now to confirm this witness. His name, 
" enlightener, " is only to be applied in any full way to Him who is the One 
Light of men. And that he is the Gileadite may speak of the "heap of wit- 
ness" (see Josh. xiii. n.) which Jair's burial would seem to remind us of, 
being buried in Camon (the place of resurrection) the grave that could not 
hold Him. 

The thirty sons on thirty ass-colts, with their thirty cities, is in this case also 
plain. "They rode," says Cassel, "not merely as men of quality, — the usual 
explanation, — but as chiefs, governors, and judges. It was peculiar to such 
persons especially, that they made use of the ass, as the animal of peace. Their 
very appearance on this animal was expressive of their calling — to reconcile and 
pacify. The sons of Jair judged their thirty cities. " The Lord's own riding 
into Jerusalem, and His parable of the pounds (Luke xix.) show us very simply 
the application here. Of the havvoth Jair, or "Jair's lives," we have spoken 
before (Josh. xiii. 11, n.). 

Tola and Jair are thus the twofold witnesses of Him to whom yet the disorder 
of man's rule will give way, though it will be still and truly man's, the kingdom 
of the Son of man. For the Sou of man cometh in the clouds of heaven, and 
henceforth they "shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and 
descending [in attendance] on the Son of man." 

SUBD. 5. 

The story of Jephtbah and his successors comes in the fifth place among these 
captivities and deliverances; and where all show so strongly the divine govern- 
ment that is over all, it might seem little likely that this should specialize the 
lesson. Yet it seems really to do so when — and perhaps only when — we bring 
in the spiritual to interpret the literal. For if Ammon be typically what we 
have taken it to be, then we can see clearly how the Church, in its departure 
from God, sows in its own unbelief the seed of every heresy; or, to keep more 
strictly to the Lord's illustration, how when men sleep the enemy sows his tares. 
The Word neglected and despised, opens the way for every perversion of it. 
And this is righteous retribution. 

But from first to last in this subdivision, the lesson seems especially enforced 
that as the sowing so is the reaping. Look at the Ephraimites in proof, where 
their own taunt is returned upon them to the full, as well as their harshness. 

(i.) Again the story is repeated of Israel's departure from God, and their 
chastening by the hand of those after whose gods they had gone. Indeed, the 
gods of every nation round had now their worship, and Jehovah alone is de- 



10. 7-14. 

V ch. 3. 9. 
Ps. 107. Il- 

w ch. 6.7-10. 

X cf. Josh .7, 

y Deut. 32, 
37, 38. 
2 Kl. 3. 13 
Jer. 2. 28. 

hand of the cliildren of 'Amnion. And they harassed Uch. 3. 13. 
and crushed the children of Israel [from] that year 
•■ eighteen years — all the children of Israel that were on rch. e. 1, 
the 'other side Jordan, in the land of the Amorites, ^h. 13. 1 
which is in Gilead. And the children of Ammon 'passed « c/Nu.32.1 
over Jordan, to fight also against Judah, and against 
Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim ; and Israel 
was sore "distressed. And the children of Israel "cried 
unto Jehovah, saying, We have sinned against thee, both 
because we have forsaken our God, and also served the 
Baals. And Jehovah said unto the children of Israel, 
'"Did not I [save you] ft-om the Egyptians, and fi'om the 
Amorite, and from the children of Ammon, and fi'om the 
Philistines ? And the Zidonians, and Amalek , and Maon , 
oppressed you, and ye cried unto me, and I saved you out 
of their hand. But ye have forsaken me, and served other 
gods: wherefore I ^will not save you again. ^Go and 
cry unto the gods that ye have chosen : let them save 

prived of His. He sells them, therefore, again into the hands of the Philistines 
and of the Ammonites at once. The Ammonite scourge is spoken of in the 
section now before us; the Philistine bondage is not broken until we reach the 
book of Samuel, although Samson, as prophesied of him, begins the deliverance 
(ch. xiii. 5). 

The Ammonites depict, as we have found reason to believe (Deut. ii.l9, sq. «.), 
what the ' ' tares" do in the second parable of the thirteenth of Matthew, the fruit 
of the seed of Satan's sowing within the limits of the kingdom of heaven. The 
good seed is the word of God, and the product of it the children of the kingdom; 
but the word of God is not what Satan sows, but some corruption of the truth, 
and the fruit of this is iu errorists of multiple forms. This interpretation is con- 
firmed as to the Ammonites by the fact that we find them not content with the 
subjugation of Israel : they claim, on the ground of their own title to it, to take 
away the land. From Amnion to Jabbok, the kingdom of Sihon formerly, now 
the inheritance of Keuben and of Gad, they contend that Israel had robbed them 
of all this when they came out of Egypt ; and they ask plainly for its restoration. 
Thus it is plain would heresy take away the jwrtion of the people of God. And 
it is noteworthy that it is the land east of the Jordan which they openly demand, 
though, in fact, making this a vantage-ground for their attack upon the tribes 
across the river. 

Now Sihon's kingdom we have taken to be the dominion of rea.son, which 
faith (Reuben) is to reconstitute and hold ; and here is commonly where error 
Ijegins the attack. Even in its superstitious forms it will be found to have its 
root in rationalism": the word of God is displaced from its authority, as Are .see 
in Romanism. Hence we find Jephthah quoting the Word the king of 
the Ammonites: much of what he says being simply a quotation from the lx)ok 
of Numbers. The word of God has, indeed, given faith secure title to the \\ hole 
province of reason, which rationalistic error has ever proved itself incompetent 
to hold, soon losing it to the Amorites, the infidel "talkers " against God. Tins 
is Jephthah's plea, in fact, against Ammon, that they had so lost it to Sihon 
before Israel had gained possession, and that from Sihon, in fact, Israel had 
wrested it. Faith is ever and only the fullest reason ; and the word of God it is 
that is alone able to make the whole field of reason a fruitful and goodly portion. 
If we do not hold it, we expose Judah, lienjarain, and Ephraim, to the Ammon- 
ite attack, and open a way to the loss of all heavenly blessings. " If I have told 
you earthly things, and ye Ijelieve not, ' ' says the Son of God Himself, ' ' how shall 
ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" 

10. 14-11. 8. 



2. (x.l7-xi. 

The cove- 
nant with 

you in the time of your distress. And the children of 
Israel said unto Jehovah, We have 'sinned : do thou to 
us according to all that is good in thine eyes ; only de- 
liver us, we pray thee, this day. And they "put away 
the strange gods from among them, and served Jeho- 
vah : and his soul was * distressed with the travail of 

^And the children of Ammon were called "together 
and encamped in Gilead ; and the children of Israel 
Avere gathered together and encamped in Mizpeh. And 
the people, the princes of Gilead, said one to another, 
''Who is the man that will begin to fight against the 
children of Ammon ? he shall be the head of all the in- 
habitants of Gilead. Now Jephthah the Gileadite was 
a mighty man of valor, but he was the *son of a harlot : 
and Gilead begat Jephthah. And Gilead's wife bare 
him sons ; and the wife's sons grew up and they ■''drave 
out Jephthah, and said unto him. Thou shalt not inherit 
in our father's house : for thou art the son of another 
woman. And Jephthah 'fled from his brethren, and 
dwelt in the land of Tob ; and there were gathered unto 
Jephthah * worthless men, and they went forth with 
him. And it came to pass after a while that the chil- 
dren of Ammon made war against Israel. And it was 
so, when the children of Ammon made war against Is- 
rael, the elders of Gilead came to fetch Jephthah out of 
the land of Tob. And they said unto Jephthah, Come 
and be our captain, that w^e may fight against the chil- 
dren of Ammon, And Jephthah said unto the elders of 
Gilead, Did ye not ' hate me, and diive me out of my 
father's house ? and why are ye come to me now, when 
ye are in distress ? And the elders of Gilead said unto 
Jephthah, Therefore turn we again to thee now, that 

Of how much importance is it to insist upon this, to-day ! Scripture is true 
and trustworthy every where, or it is to be trusted nowhere. Let us take our 
stand boldly there, if we would retain anything of what God has given to us. 
And away with the imbelieving thought that Scriptm-e is not meant to teach 
us science ! Let us rather say that it is meant to teach whatever it does teach. 
It is light, not darkness ; truth, and only truth ; the soul of reason ; the illumi- 
nation of all it touches. 

And here the name of the deliverer seems to be most significant. Jephthah is 
a word we have had already: it is the Jiphtah of Joshua xv. 43, and the Jiph- 
tah-[el] of xix. 14, 27. It means "he opens," and in the first place we have 
taken it as applying to Christ opening the heavenly places for us ; in the others, 
to God's opening — El being added — whether of spiritual truth, or of the heart to 
receive it. How simply does this show us the deliverer from the children of 
Ammon, whether we may apply it to Scripture as opening truth, or Christ as the 
subject of Scripture, and the true light everywhere. These things are practically 
one, and in closest relation to what we have j ust been saying. ' ' Scripture opens ' ' 
— is truth, is science, puts Sihon's king into the hand of faith. To maintain it 
thus is true deliverance from Ammonite heresy ; whUe thus our portion in the 
land is covered from attack — Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, are made secure from 
every inroad of this kind. 

2 ch. 2. 4, 5. 

cf. Dan. 9. 

a 1 Sam.7,4, 

b Ex. 2. 25. 

Ps. 106. 44, 

c ch. 11. 11, 


Gen. 31, 49. 

d cf. ch. 1. 1. 

e cf. Gen. 38. 
24, 25, 29, 
with Matt. 
1. 3. 
Is. 53. 3. 

/c/. Gen. 37. 
4, 8, 27. 

g cf. Ex. 2. 
14, 15. 
1 Sam. 21. 
10, 11. 

ft ch. 9. 4. 
1 Sam.22.2. 

( Acts 7. 35; 



11. 8-23. 

8. (xi. 12-33.) 
of blessing. 

thou mayst go with us and fight against the children of 
Ammon, and mayst be our ■^ head over all the inhabit- >ch. lo. is. 
ants of Gilead. And Jephthah said unto the elders of 
Gilead, If ye bring me back to fight against the chil- 
dren of Ammon, and Jehovah give them up before me, 
* shall I be your head? And the elders of Gilead said 
unto Jephthah, Jehovah be witness between us if we do 
not according to thy word. And Jephthah went with 
the elders of Gilead, and the people set him over them 
as head and captain ; and Jephthah uttered all his 
words before Jehovah at Mizpeh. 

'And Jephthah sent ^messengers unto the king of the 
children of Ammon, saying, What is between me and 
thee, that thou art come against me to fight in my 
land ? And the king of the children of Ammon said 
unto Jephthah's messengers. Because Israel ""took away 
my land when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon 
even unto Jabbok and to Jordan : now then " restore it 
peaceably. And Jephthah sent messengers again unto 
the king of the children of Ammon, and said unto him. 
Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not awaj"^ the land 
of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon ; but 
when they came up out of Egypt, then Israel walked 
through the wilderness as far as the Red Sea, and came 
to Kadesh. And Israel sent " messengers to the king of 
Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy 
land; but the king of Edom did not hearken. And 
in like manner sent they to the king of ^ Moab; but he 
would not : and Israel abode in Kadesh. Then they 
went through the wilderness and « compassed the land of 
Edom and the land of Moab, and came toward sunrise 
of the land of Moab, and encamped on the other side of 
Arnon, and came not within the border of Moab : for 
Ai-non was the border of Moab. And Israel sent mes- 
sengers unto 'Sihon, king of the Amorites, king of Hesh- 
bon, and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray 
thee, through thy land unto my place. But Sihon did 
not trust Israel to pass his border, and Sihon gathered 
all his people, and encamped toward Jahaz and fought 
with Israel. And Jehovah the God of Israel 'gave Sihon 
and all his people into Israel's hand, and they smote 
them : and Israel possessed all the land of the Amorite 
who dwelt in that land ; yea, Israel possessed all the 
border of the Amorite from Arnon even unto Jabbok, 
and from the wilderness even unto Jordan. So now 
the God of Israel hath 'di.spossessed the Amorite from 
before his people Israel ; and shalt thou take possession 

Jepththab, too, is a Gileadite, and thus a Manassite. His beiug made head 
of Gilead flgnres largely, as we see, in the deliverance. It is only he who goes 
on in the truth, making progress in the acquisition of the diviue treasure, who 
can preserve from the Ammonite raider the treasure of the past. But as a Mauaa- 
Bite also, let us remember, he enters into the things that are beyond, the heritage 

11. 23-35. 



4.(xi. 34-10.) 

of it ? Wilt not thou possess that which " Chemosh thy 
God maketh thee possess ? so whatsoever Jehovah our 
God maketh us to possess, that we will possess. And 
now art thou better than "Balak the son of Zippor, king 
of Moab? Did he ever contend with Israel, or did he 
fight against them? Since Israel dwelt in Heshbon 
and her dependencies, and in Aroer and her dependen- 
cies, and in all the cities that are on the banks of Ar- 
non, [it is] ""three hundred years: why then have ye 
not recovered them within that time? I have not, 
then, sinned against thee, but thou hast done me wrong 
to war against me. Jehovah who judgeth * judge this 
day between the children of Israel and the children of 

But the king of the children of Ammon did not heark- 
en to the words of Jephthah which he sent to him. 
And the "Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah, and 
he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed 
through Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead 
passed over to the children of Ammon. And Jephthah 
•vowed a vow unto Jehovah, and said, If thou wilt in- 
deed give the children of Ammon into my hand, then it 
shall be that whatsoever cometh forth to meet me, com- 
ing forth from the doors of my house, shall be Jeho- 
vah's, and I will offer it up for a whole oflfering.* 

And Jephthah passed over unto the children of Am- 
mon to fight against them, and Jehovah "gave them 
into his hand. And he smote them from Aroer even 
till thou come to Minnith, twenty cities, even to Abel 
Keramim — a very great slaughter ; and the children of 
Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. 

*And Jephthah came to Mizpeh, to his house, and 
behold, his daughter coming forth to meet him with 
timbrels and with dances ; and she was *his only child: 
beside her he had neither son nor daughter. And it 
was so, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes ; and 
he said. Ah, my daughter, thou hast brought me very 
low ! yea, thou hast come to be of those that aflSict 
me: for I have 'opened my mouth to Jehovah, and 

• The same word as translated elsewhere " bio-nt-o ffering," but the idea of 
burning is not necessarily implied. Solomon's "ascent by which he went up 
to the house of Jehovah ' ' (1 Kings x. 5) is the same word : it means " what as- 
cends," and it seems well to avoid here the unnecessary difficulty connected 
with the use of the common English term. (See the Notes.) 

w ch. 10. 14. 
1 Ki. 11. 7. 
Jer. 48. 7. 


w cf. Gal. 3. 

X Gen. 31. 

y ch. 3. 10. 

2 Lev. 5. 4. 

a Num. 21. 
Josh. 10. 8- 
10, etc. 

6 cf. Gen. 
Lk. 9. 88. 
Jno. 8. 16. 

c Num.30.2. 
Ps. 15. 4. 
Eccl. 5.2-5. 
c<r. Matt.5. 
cf. Acts 18. 

across Jordan also, and connects it with the inheritance on this side. He who 
in the spiritual reality can hold these things together is the true deliverer from 
the raids of the Ammonite. 

(iv.) As to Jephthah's vow, there seem haste and failure in it, but surely not 
the human sacrifice that many have imagined. Most recent commentators agree 
in this, and believe that his daughter was simply consecrated to God, to live an 
unmarried life, as verses 37-39 seem plainly to show. There is not a word 
about death in her case, save what is supposed to be involved in the 31st verse, 
"I will offer it up a burnt-offering." But Jephthah's words to the king of 

16 ii. 



11. 35-40. 

d Gen. 22. 
7-9, but cf. 
Gen. 30. 1. 

e cf. 2 Sam. 
19, 29, 30. 

/ cf. 1 Sam. 
1. 6, 10, 11, 

g ver. 30. 

cannot draw back. And she said unto him, My father, 
if thou hast opened thy mouth to Jehovah, "^do to me 
according to what hath gone out of thy mouth ; ° since 
Jehovah hath done vengeance for thee upon thine ene- 
mies, upon the children of Ammon. And she said unto 
her father, Let this thing be done to me : let me alone 
two months that I may go and descend to the moun- 
tains, and •''bewail my virginity, I and my companions. 
And he said unto her. Go. And he sent her away for 
two months ; and she went with her companions, and 
bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. And it 
was so, at the end of two months, that she returned to 
her father, and he did to her ^according to his vow that 
he had vowed : and she knew no man. And it became 
a custom in Israel, for the daughters of Israel to go 
from year to year to celebrate the daughter of Jeph- 
thah, the Gileadite, four days in the year. 

Ammon show him to be acquainted with the law ; and by the law such an oflfer- 
ing was forbidden as an abomination. (Lev. xviii. 21, etc.) No altar could 
have been found for it ; no priest would have performed it ; and the two months 
of mourning on the mountains would have given ample time for the news of the 
contemplated sacrifice to have spread far in Israel. To suppose that under the 
circumstances he could have been ignorant of the law, or that, knowing it, he 
could have had such a passion to sacrifice the daughter he loved, as in the face 
of it to persevere in offering to Jehovah an abomination that He hated, seems 
incredible enough. Everything is against the perpetration of such a crime ; and 
the Hebrew certainly allows the translation of " or " instead of ' ' and I will offer 
it." "The great Jewish commentators of the Middle Ages," says Edersheim, 
"have, in opposition to the Talmud, pointed out that these two last clauses are 
not identical. It is never said of an animal burnt-offering that it ' should be to 
Jehovah,' — for the simple reason that as a burnt-offering it is such. But where 
human beings are offered to Jehovah, there the expression is used, as in the 
case of the first-born among Israel and of Levi (Nu. iii. 12, 13). But in these 
cases it has never been suggested that there was actual human sacrifice. ' ' He 
urges, as do others : "If the loving daughter had devoted herself to death, it is 
next to incredible that she should have wished to have spent the two months of 
life conceded to her, not with her broken-hearted father, but in the mountains 
with her companions." 

After all, the word does not actually mean, in Hebrew, "5«rH<-offering," but 
simply an "offering that ascends" — all ascends — to God. And this makes a 
great difference. Jephthah did not pledge himself that the offering should be 
burnt, though that were the way in which an animal sacrifice would "ascend." 
I have felt a necessity, therefore, of omitting this word from the translation. It 
is probably all that is really needed to avoid the difficulty. 

In any case the history remains a witness to and against the terrible legality 
of the human heart which could thus shadow the joy of such a deliverance at the 
moment of its being granted. Such vowing is now expressly forbidden by our 
Lord: "Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not 
forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths ; but I say unto 
you, Swear not at all." God's will needs not man's will to supplement, but 
only to obey, it. To undertake obedience all uncalled for is only to subject 
one's self to bondage to one's own infirmity. 

As tested, however, by the consequences of his vow, Jephthah, though smitten 
to the heart, abides the test, and proves his loyalty to Jehovah, a loyalty shared 
to the full by his noble daughter. Not even her name is inscribed upon the 

12. 1-9. 



5. (xii. 1-7.) 





1. (w. 8-10.) 

Ibzan : 

' purity." 

^And the men of *Ephraim were called together, and 
passed over northward, and said unto Jephthah, Why 
didst thou pass over to fight against the children of 
Ammou, and calledst us not to go with thee? we will 
burn thy house over thee with fire. And Jephthah said 
unto them, I was at great strife, I and my people, with 
the children of Ammon, and I called you, but ye did 
'not save me out of his hand. And when I saw that 
there was no deliverance with you, I put my life in my 
hand, and passed over against the children of Ammon, 
and Jehovah gave them into my hand : why, then, are 
ye come up to me this day, to fight against me ? And 
Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and 
•'fought with Ephraim ; and the men of Gilead smote 
Ephraim, because they said. Ye Gileadites are fugitives 
of Ephraim in the midst of Ephraim [and] Manasseh. 
And the Gileadites took the fords of Jordan against 
Ephraim ; and it was so, when [one of] the fugitives of 
Ephraim said, Let me pass over, that the men of Gilead 
said unto him. Art thou an Ephraimite? And he said, 
No, And they said unto him, Say now * Shibboleth. 
And he said, Sibboleth ; for he did not frame to pro- 
nounce it rightly. Then they took him and slew him 
at the fords of Jordan. And there fell at that time of 
the Ephraimites 'forty-two thousand. 

And Jephthah ""judged Israel six years. And Jeph- 
thah the Gileadite died, and was buried in [one of] the 
cities of Gilead. 

(XII. 8-15.) 

2, 'And after him "Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 
And he had thirty sons ; and thirty daughters he sent 

h cb. 8. 1. 

i qA cji 10.9. 

J ctr. cL. 8.2. 

k cf. 1 Cor. 
1. 10-15. 
Jas. 4. 1. 

I cf. ch. 20. 

21, 2.5. 

m V. 9. 

n ver. 7. 

record here, but she fdlly takes her place among the great historic women of 

(v.) We have still to speak of the Ephraimite outrage and its chastisement. 
It is a more violent repetition of their conduct toward Gideon, but which meets 
in this case a terril)le retribution. The pride of Ephraim is typically an ad- 
monition for us, — a much-needed one. How readily does " fruitfulness " get 
spoiled by the blight of self-complacency ! — and what sore rebukes does it 
nece-ssitate for us, that we may be delivered from that which was the condem- 
nation of the devil ! (1 Tim. iii. 6). Their taunting words as to the Gileadites 
became true to the letter as to themselves when they became, indeed, " fugitives 
of Ephraim among the Mauassites, ' ' who, alas, do not spare them. The quarrels 
of brethren are, of all, the severest : in proportion to the closeness of the ties 
sundered is the bitterness aroused: civil strife is proverbially the most Mwcivil. 

2. Very briefly indeed we have now the account of Jephthah's successors. 
As the quiet for twenty-iive years after his death was doubtless the result of his 
victory,- so also do they seem to represent, in their names and connection, the 
consequences spiritually. We have scarcely anything except names here ; so that, 
if these are meaningless, the history as a whole can be little else. Any escape 
from such a conclusion — any light where otherwise all must be darkness — can- 
not then but be welcome. 

(i.) There are three successors, the first two of whom are Zebulonites; the 
third apparently an Ephraimite. Of Ibzan himself we have only the fact of his 
being a Bethlehemite. This Bethlehem is not that of Judah, but the one named 



12. 9-13. 2. 

2. (w.11,12.) 

Abdon : 

The an- 
ment and 
birth of the 
man of 
1. (w. 1-7.) 
The first 

out of the house, and thirty daughters he took in from 
abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years ; 
and Ibzan died, and was buried in Bethlehem. 

^And after him "Elon the Zebulonite judged Israel; 
and he judged Israel ten years. And Elon the Zebu- 
lonite died, and was buried in Ajalon, in the land of 

^And after him ^^ Abdon, the son of Hillel, the Pirath- 
onite, judged Israel. And he had forty sons and thirty 
grandsons, who rode on seventy ass colts. And he 
judged Israel eight years ; and Abdon the son of Hillel, 
the Pirathonite, died, and was buried in Pirathon in 
the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekite. 

Subdivision 6. (Chap, xiii.-xvi.) 
Samson and the Philistines : victory, but not rest. 


l.^A ND the children of Israel 'again did that which was 

J\^ evil in Jehovah's sight; and Jehovah gave them 

into the hand of the Philistines ''forty years. And 

there was a certain man of Zoreah, of the family of the 

p ver. 11. 

q ch. 10. G. 
r ch. 6. 1. 

in Joshua (xix. 15) as belonging to Zebulon. Of course it has the same sig- 
nificance. Ibzan is said to mean "labor," "great labor." This is from the 
near-akin Chaldee. If from the Hebrew directly, then we must decide for 
' ' white, ' ' perhaps ' ' shining. ' ' Taking the first, and remembering that Jephthah 
speaks of "opening " the truth, "labor " in the "place of bread " seems nearly 
and naturally connected as a consequence. On the other hand, "white," the 
common symbol of pnrity, is no less natural; and more suitable, perhaps, in the 
place in which he stands here, first in succession. Sanctification is by the truth, 
and that satisfaction for the soul which "bread" — the "bread of life" — de- 
notes, is a main element in sanctification. That he is a Zebulonite is quite in 
keeping; and the ties that we find spoken of as binding him with others may 
well imply the spiritual links that form where the word of God is felt in power 
and spread abroad. He is a fitting successor, then, to Jephthah. 

(ii.) Elon, the "oak," comes next, implying strength as the product of life 
and growth. Growth by the truth fits well the second place, — Elon being again 
a Zebulonite. Nothing else is recorded of him but that he judged Israel ten 
years and was buried in Ajalon. 

(iii.) The third judge is Abdon, "service," the son of Hillel, "praising," a 
Pirathonite, or dweller in "freedom," — thoughts which are too coherent and 
too easily understood in their connection by every Christian heart to need 
either expansion or insisting on. That Pirathon is in Ephraim connects again 
liberty with fruitfulness; and "in the mount of the Amalekites" may refer to 
some past victory over them, or at least to a possession of the land on their part 
which no longer existed. In the whole of this the spirit of consecration speaks, 
and that is doubtless the truth presented here. The free service which is the 
fruit of praise has succeeded to the old Amalekite misrule of ' ' lusts that war in 
the members": and this, with what has been brouglit before us in the judges 
preceding Abdon, gives us well the fruit of such victories as those of Jephthah 
typify, — for us the victories of the Word of truth. 

SUBD. 6. 

The story of Samson, the last of the judges in this book, is fittingly a sixth 
and not a seventh subdivision; nor have we a seventh. The number, we well 
know, to be significant of evil at its height, even though it speak also of limit 
set to and victory over it : and to this, in every particular, the history corresponds. 

13. 2-4. JUD.GES. 239 

Danites, and his name was Manoah. And his wife was 
'barren, and did not bear. And the 'angel of Jehovah 
appeared unto the woman, and said unto her. Behold 
now, thou art barren and bearest not ; but thou shalt 
conceive and bear a son. And now, I pray thee, beware 

Gen. 25. 21. 
Gen. 29. 31. 
1 Sam. 1. 2. 
Lk. 1. 7 


It is one of strange contrasts and of apparent coutradictions : one in which the 
grace and purpose of God, so manifest in it, seem so little fulfilled in the result; 
in which the consecration of the Nazarite to God has so little correspondence to 
any spiritual condition that all through, if we are confined to the letter, there 
seems scarce a gleam of comfort for the Christian heart. The failure of man is 
plain, whatever the circumstances in which he may be placed : the greater priv- 
ileges bestowed on him, the deeper only is his fall. Samson, in this way, — by 
the strength of the Lord which he manifests, and his loss of it when false to his 
consecration, — is a lesson impossible to be mistaken as to Israel's condition, who 
were themselves thus nationally separated to God, and untrue to their separa- 
tion. The Church has failed more signally, inasmuch as she has been called to, 
and qualified for, a higher separation. Nor, though there have been, and may 
yet be, partial revivals, will there be for her any complete recovery. Her earthly 
history ends, as that of this book does, in PhiUstine captivity still in the main 

The reason is obvious as to Israel : we read of fresh departure, but of no return 
nor cry to Jehovah. He acts toward them, indeed, in goodness, and provides a 
deliverer; but the deliverance itself, being still conditioned upon their repent- 
ance, cannot be effected. Samson's victories bring about, at the most, but an 
alleviation of their distress; and he himself fails at the last, and dies, though 
slaying more of the Philistines at his death than in his life. 

We have seen, abundantly, what these Philistines stand for. They are the 
ritualistic, traditional, element in Christendom, — the Judaism in the Church, — 
the earthly intrusion into what is spiritual and heavenly. We have seen them 
as hindrances in the path of Abraham and of Isaac, and traced them from 
the Egyptians by Casluhim and Caphtorim, the united people settling at last on 
the outward border of the land to which, — Palestine from Philistine, — though 
neveE possessing but a fraction, they have given their name. So has the world- 
church become the ' ' catholic ' ' or univei"sal church. 

From PhiUstine bondage the deliverer is a Nazarite; and thus Samuel, who 
completes Samson's work, is like him in this respect. For the Nazarite is the 
type of separation from the world, such as belongs to the true church, — from the 
intoxication of its joys and from its legal claims, as well as from its pollutions; 
and let this separation be lost, all strength is lost, — the conqueror becomes the 
slave, the clear sight of the judge becomes but blindness: the history of Samson 
is repeated. How many times has it been, in fact, repeated ! 

1. With Samson we are made to see, from the outset, the sovereign grace which 
prepares the deliverance. His birth is announced by the angel of the Lord, 
apart from any apparent seeking upon man's part. He is the son of a woman 
naturally ban-en; and the preparation for his coming antedates his birth. In 
this last it is implied that there are still conditions to be conformed to in order 
to deliverance. 

(i.) The predicted deliverer is of the family of Dan. Dan speaks already of 
the service of rule, as we have seen, — a rule which must, for blessing, be first of 
all over one's self Manoah is a man of Zorah, which reminds us of the sting of 
sin; while his name, "rest," nevertheless proclaims already victory over it. 
The victory is in subjection: " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I 
am meek and lowly in heart ; and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Here is 
the Danite spirit from which springs the helper. 

It is to the woman, however, to whom the angel first appears, and her name 
we have not. She is reminded of her barrenness, that God's grace and power 



13. 4-16. 

2. (vv. 6-23.) 

The second 



that thou "drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat 
nothing unclean. For behold, thou shalt conceive and 
bear a son, and no "razor shall come upon his head: for 
the child shall be a '" Nazarite to God from the womb ; 
and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the 
Philistines. And the woman went and said to her hus- 
band, A man of God came unto me, and his ''appearance 
was like the appearance of the angel of God, very terri- 
ble ; but I asked him not whence he was, nor did he 
tell me his name. And he said unto me, Behold, thou 
shall conceive and bear a son ; and now, drink no wine 
nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean : for the 
child shall be a Nazarite to God fi-om the womb to the 
day of his death. 

'-'And Manoah prayed unto Jehovah, and said. Ah 
Lord ! let the man of God whom thou didst send, come 
again to us, I pray thee, and 2' teach us what we shall 
do unto the child that shall be born. And God heark- 
ened unto the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God 
came again to the woman as she was sitting in the 
field ; but Manoah her husband was not with her. And 
the woman hastened and ran and told her husband, 
and .said, Behold, the man hath appeared to me who 
came to me that day. And Manoah arose and went 
after his wife, and came unto the man, and said unto 
him. Art thou the man that spake unto the woman? 
And he said, I am. And Manoah said. When now thy 
Avords come to pass, how shall we order the child, and 
what shall we do as to him ? And the angel of Jehovah 
said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman, 
let her take heed. Of all the produce of the wine-vine 
shall she not eat, nor shall she drink wine or strong 
drink, nor eat any unclean thing : of all that I said 
unto her shall she take heed. And Manoah said unto 
the angel of Jehovah, I pray thee, let us ^detain thee 
that we may make ready a kid for thee. And the angel 
of Jehovah said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, 
I will "not eat of thy bread; and if thou preparest an 

u Lk. 1. 15. 

V 1 Sam. I. 

IV Kum. 6. 

X Matt. 28. 

y cf. Gen.l8. 
Eph. 6. 4. 

2 Geu. 18. 5. 
cli. 6.18-23. 

a cf. Gen. 
19. 3. 

may the more appear. She is herself nothing, her very name without impor- 
tance, and that of her husband unnoticed in the message of the angel : for all 
here is of God. And agreeing with this is the special emphasis laid upon the 
woman's loug hair of the Nazarite, to the man a shame, and the renunciation 
of his glory as such (1 Cor. xi.). Oh the blessing that results when all the glory 
is given to God, and man owns himself naturally to have forfeited all, that grace 
may be grace ! 

(ii.) In correspondence with all this, it is the woman who receives most 
readily the divine communication. Manoah, pious as he is, does not feel so 
sure of its character and meaning. But he looks to God, and is confirmed by 
the angel's second visit. This is still to the woman fn-st, but who is permitted 
to call her hu.sband, that he too may hear from the angel's lips. But Manoah as 
yet recognizes only a human mes.senger, even while recognizing the message. 
The angel insists simply upon obedience to the word already given; and when 
Manoah desires to entertain him, refuses to receive from him as man, but bids 

13. 16-25. 



3. (ru. 24,25.) 
The word 

offering, offer it unto * Jehovah. But Manoah knew not 
that he was an angel of Jehovah. And Manoah said 
unto the angel of Jehovah, What is thy name? that 
when thy words come to pass, we may do thee honor. 
And the angel of Jehovah said unto him. Why askest 
thou after my name, when it is "wonderful? And Ma- 
noah took the kid and the meal-offering, and offered it 
upon the ''rock unto Jehovah : and he did wondrously ; 
and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to 
pass, when the flame went up to heaven from the altar, 
that the angel of Jehovah "ascended in the flame of the 
altar. And Manoah and his wife were looking on, and 
they •''fell upon their faces to the ground. And the 
angel of Jehovah appeared no more unto Manoah and 
his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of 
Jehovah. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall 
surely 'die : for we have seen God. But his wife said 
unto him, *If Jehovah were pleased to kill us, he would 
not have received a burnt-offering and meal-offering 
at oiu- hand ; nor would he have shown us all these 
things, nor Avould he as now have told us things like 

'And the woman bare a son, and called his name 
Samson ; and the child grew ; and Jehovah blessed him. 
And the * Spirit of Jehovah began to move him in Ma- 
haneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol. 

6 <•/. Rev.22. 

c Geu. 32.29. 
Is. 9. 6. 

d eh. 6. 20. 


/ Lev. 9. 24. 
Matt. 17.6. 

g ch. 6. 22. 
Is. 6. 5. 
ctr.2 Cor.3. 

h ef. Gen. 8. 
20, 21. 
Eph. 5. 
with Heb. 
10. 14. 

i ch. 14. 19. 
1 Sa. 11. 6. 
ctr.Jno. 14. 

him offer a burnt'-offeriug to Jehovah. Like Gideon, he is constituted thus a 
priest to the Lord: the uubelief of the believer is rebuked by his being brought 
into nearer intimacy; he is turned from man to God, and put iuto a place in 
which, in priestly iashion, he may approach God. But Manoah cauuot yet 
understand, and would learn the name of the speaker, that when his word is 
fulfilled they may, as man, do him honor. Thus the angel's question, xchy he 
should a^sk after his uame? — yet adding, what might well justify inquiry, that 
it was "Wonderful, ' ' — a uame which Isaiah afterward gives us as " Immanuel's ' ' 
(ch. ix. 6) ; and here, indeed, God and man are brought together in one Person. 
But Manoah does not yet understand. Still, obedient, he brings his kid and the 
meal-offering which goes with it, the blessed type of Him iu whom a perfect 
Man would be iu due time the Substitute for man, and oflfeis it upon the rock, — 
no unworthy altar. Then the augel of Jehovah acts according to His name, aud 
ascends to heaven in the altar-flame. God in His holiness is indeed that which, 
while it consumes the sacrifice turns it to sweet savor, in which it ascends to 
Him. "With this flame the angel, as it were, identifies Himself, and ascends up 
to heaven. Thus He is revealed to Manoah; thus in the truth of what is here 
He is made known to every believing sinner, and takes His true and heavenly 

The woman still it is who enters into the mind of God, however; and her 
identification with the true Nazarite character, as in the Nazarite's long hair, is 
emphasized, as well as the connection of this preparatory part with the history 
that follows. Her reasoning is simplicity itself, aud the truth of it a demon- 
stration. Faith is indeed always simple; unbelief laborious and roundabout, 
for it is the effort of human will against God, and may well be labor. 

(iii.) And now the prophecy is fulfilled, and Samson is born. The name is 
variously explained. While that of "sun-like" would be etj'mologically the 
most simple, and have some support tiom the words of Deborah's song (ch. v. 31), 



14. 1-3. 

brings con- 




outside of 

him who 

has it. 

(XIV., XV.) 

2. And Samson ■^went down to Timnath, and saw a wo- 
man in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And 
he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, 
I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the 
* Philistines: now, therefore, take her for me to wife. And 
his father said unto him, and his mother. Is there not a 
woman among the daughters of thy brethren, nor among 

J eh. 16. 1, 4. 
<^. Gen. 12. 

A: c/. Deut. 

yet that of Josephus, "strong," seems rather to point to the lesson of his stoiy.* 
It is the secret of strength that is shown forth in him, both in his victories and 
in his failure and defeat ; and thus it is very far from true that (as Cassel thinks) 
.such an explanation appears to be without historical motive. 

Samson grows, and the Spirit of Jehovah begins to urge him in the camp of 
Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol. It had been that of the six hundred men, 
whose history is given us further on (ch. xviii), although the occurrence was 
much earlier than Samson's time, and who had gone forth, pressed by the narrow 
limits into which Amorites and Philistines had combined to crowd them, to 
found for themselves a new Dan in the north. Such a spot would naturally 
work upon the youthful mind of Samson, and be used of the Spirit to inspire 
him with eager patriotism, — a thing which in Israel had not alone nature to 
commend it. Israel were the people of God, the divine means of fore-ordained 
blessing for all the families of the earth, and to whom the revelation of God 
had been committed. The champion of Israel was, by this fact, and though he 
might have but little intelligence of the fact, the champion of the world's 

2. As Keil rightly remarks, the story of Samson's deeds that follows is divided 
into two parts by the notice of his judgeship in Israel, which lasted twenty yeare. 
The first of these — the present section — gives evidently the heroic acts which 
win for him the place of acknowledged authority which he retains for the time; 
while the second shows his fall and ruin through being false to his Nazariteship, 
though in his death he is once more victorious. This descent and restoration, 
though but at the close of his career, mark the last as a true third section. 

The present, as Keil again points out, ' ' includes six distinct acts, which are 
grouped together in twos; namely (1 and 2), the killing of the lion on the way 
to Timnath, and the slaughter of the thirty Philistines for the purpose of paying 
for the solution of his riddle with the clothes that he took from them; (3 and 4), 
his revenge upon the Philistines by burning their crops, because his wife had 
been given to a Philistine, and also by the great slaughter with which he pun- 
ished them for having burned his father-in-law and wife; (5 and 6), the bursting 
of the cords with which his countrymen had bound him for the purpose of 
delivering him up to the Philistines, and the slaying of a thousand Philistines 
with the jawbone of an ass." Of course it does not follow that these six acta 
sufficiently characterize the portions with which they stand connected ; while yet, 
in this simple way, a numerical structure is shown to exist. This, we may be 
sure, must have its significance. The number 6 is itself, as we have seen, char- 
acteristic of the whole history of Samson ; and this, broken up into 3 x 2, becomes 
the witness of the divine in the midst of all the human failure and sorrow 

(i.) The story in all this part is a closely connected one, and all the events 
spring out of — what is sadly significant as to the final issue here — Samson's 
attempt to connect himself with the very people from whom he is to "begin to 
deliver" Israel. The alliance it is that is the occasion of the conflict: the 

• " Shimshon (Ixx. Samson) does not mean ' sun-like,' ' hero of the sun,' from shein^h (the sun), 
but, as Josephus explains it (Ant. v., 8, 4), idxvpo?, the strong or daring one ; from shlmshom, 
from the Intensive form shimsliem of shamem, In its original sense of ' to be strong,' or 'daring,' 
not ' to devastate.' "—(Keil.) 

14. 3-7. 



I dr. Kom. 

15. 1-3. 
7n cf. 1 Ki. 

12. 15. 


with 2 Sa. 

24. 1. 

n cf. 1 Pet. 


all my people, that thou art going to take a wife of the 
uncircumcised Philistines ? And Samson said unto his 
father, Take her for me, for she is 'fair in mine eyes. 
And his father and mother knew not that it was "of 
Jehovah, that he was seeking an occasion against the 
Philistines ; and the Philistines at that time were ruling 
in Israel. And Samson and his father and his mother 
went down to Timnath ; and when they came to the 
vineyards of Timnath, behold, a young "lion roaring 
against him. And the Spirit of Jehovah came suddenly 
upon him, and he ''rent him as one rends a kid ; and 
he had nothing in his hand : and he told not his father 
or his mother what he had done. And he went down 
and talked with the woman, and she was right in 

Philistine and the Nazarite cannot really unite, and the attempt to do so only 
brings out the essential incompatibility. The Nazarite stands for separation 
from the world, over which death reigns. The Philistine shows us the world 
brought in into the holiest things. The women stand here, as they do in the 
case of Sarah and Hagar, for principles by the embracing of which fruit is sought: 
and alas, how often do we seek to gain over the world by concessions to the 
world ! — by the adoption of principles which compromise the whole truth of 
Grod. Timuath speaks, as we have before seen, of "apportionment," which, if 
the town were Israelite, would be divine, — a lot measured out to us from God; 
but being Philistine, where Dagon, "increase," has usurped His place, we have 
a striking confirmation of what has already been indicated as the meaning here. 
When we measme things by results, these must be, of course, palpable results: 
those divinely ordained are apt to be too far off, too slow in development, not to 
say too purely spiritual also, to admit of present discernment and of right 
appraisal. Thus one Nazarite in desire may be led by an impetuous longing for 
gains capable of speedy realization, to take up with methods which are worldly 
and carnal (Philistine), but which, on that very account, yield present fruit. 
How many souls, in fact, and these often the strongest and most earnest, are 
thus seduced into Timnathite marriages ! How good to remember here the 
"long patience" needed by the husbandman in order to garner the precious 
grain; and that duty is oui"s, results are to be left with God, as they may be 
safely left. A Timnathite woman may "please" even a Samson "well," and 
elder Israelites be overborne, if not deceived, into acquiescence, as were Manoah 
and his wife; none the less is she Philistine, — the whole thing, indeed, tending 
directly to the snare of Dagon-woi-ship. Let those who would be helpers in the 
deliverance of Israel beware of this. 

It is quite natural that the Timnathite vineyards should contain lions also. 
Satan is here in this among his many forms; and the seduction may lead into 
the ambush, and so the open assault. But here he is to be less feared than else- 
where. The soldier of Christ is more easily lulled to sleep than overcome in 
battle. The Spirit of Jehovah at once comes upon Samson, and he awakes to 
his strength, gaining thus a personal experience which is to be fruitful for him 
afterwards. He rends the lion without a weapon in his hand, and as easily as one 
would a kid. It is the power of God, but realized in the living energy of man, 
stripped and bare of all other assistance. With such help the mightiest foe is as 
ea.sily vanquished as the feeblest. No need to measure difficulties, save only to 
assure one's self that the greatest opposition means the greatest triumph; and 
again, it is the glory of the earthen vessel that the excellency of the power 
should be of God and not of us. 

Yet, after all, spite of this display of strength, Samson is not right with God; 
and his history is most sadly instructive in this respect. He slays the open foe, 
and is deceived into the Philistine alliance; and how many are like him to-day. 



14. 8-16. 

p ctr. Jno.2. 

q r.f. Gen. 1. 

Phil. 1. 12- 

r ch. 16. 5. 

Samson's eyes. And after a while he returned to take 
her, and he turned aside to .see the carcase of the lion, 
and behold, a congregation of bees in the carcase of the 
lion, and honey. And he took of it in his hands, and 
went on, eating as he went, and came unto his father 
and his mother, and gave to them and they did eat ; 
but he told them not that he had taken the honey out 
of the carcase of the lion. 

And his father Avent down unto the woman, and 
there Samson made a ^ feast : for so used the young 
men to do. And it came to pass, wheii they saw 
him, that they brought thirty companions to be with 
him. And Samson said unto them, I will now put 
forth a riddle unto you : if ye can truly declare it to 
me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, 
then will I give you thirty shirts and thirty changes 
of garments ; and if ye cannot declare it to me, 
then shall ye give me thirty shirts and thirty changes 
of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy 
riddle, that we may hear it. And he said unto them, 
'Out of the eater came forth food, and out of the strong 
came forth sweetness. And they could not in three 
days explain the riddle. And it came to pass on the 
seventh day that they said unto Samson's wife, *■ Per- 
suade thy husband, that he may declare the riddle to 
us, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire : 
have ye invited us to impoverish us ? is it not so ? And 
Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou but 

People can quote the heroism, and use it to set off the Timuathite's son-in-law: 
God uses it in the end to break off the alliance. He is bringing the blind by a 
Tivay he sees not. 

But he comes to take the woman that pleases him, and a new experience 
awaits him on the road. A swarm of bees had hived in the sun-dried carcass 
of the lion. Death had made room for multitudinous life, and abundant and 
ordered* activities; and as the product of this there is the honey that, with milk, 
gave a special character to the land of Canaan. Thus "out of the eater had 
come forth meat, and out of the strong sweetness." Out of the power that was 
against us, met and subdued by the mightier power of God, comes ever sweet- 
ness and refreshment for the people of God : and this because of life that has 
come in in the place of death, and order that has arisen out of the hold of cor- 
ruption. And this is true Nazarite experience of the transforming power of 
God, by which that which is contrary to us becomes ever for us. On the cross 
this was most gloriously manifest, where power was shown in weakness; and in 
the worst act of rebellion that the world has seen, grace came in to subdue and 
sanctify to Gotl. So in measure it is in every defeat of the enemy, where the 
Spirit of God works in the living energy of the saint of God — the Nazarite. 
The battle-field ))ecomes a bauqueting-honse; the table is furnished not only 
"in the j)»ce of our enemies," but from that which thej' have provided. But 
this is the jjei-sonal experience of faith, — a secret hidden from all but those who 
have the experience. 

• " The swarm of bees is significantly spoken of as the congregation of beea. Commonly edah 
designates the congregation of Israel, as regulated by the law. . . . Horapollo, in his work on 
Hieroglyphics (lib. 1. 02), informs us that when the Eg>'ptlaus wished to picture the idea of a people 
of law, they did It by the figure of a bee."— (Cas.sel.) 

14. 16-15. 4. 



2. (XV. 1-8.) 
Open con- 

s oh. 16. 15. 
c/. 1 Cor. 7. 

1 Ki.11.1-4. 

t (f. Lk. 18. 

u rer. 6. 

V cf. 1 Sam. 
18. 25-27. 

w cb. 15. 2. 

hatest me, and 'lovest me not : thou hast put forth a 
riddle to the children of my people, and to me thou 
hast not told it. And he said unto her. Behold, I have 
not told it to my father and mother, and shall I tell it 
thee ? And she wept before him the seven days that 
the feast lasted : and it came to pass on the seventh 
day that he told her: 'for she pressed him hard; and 
she declared the riddle to the children of her people. 
And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day, 
before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? 
and what is stronger than a lion ? And he said unto 
them. If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not 
found out my riddle. And the "Spirit of Jehovah came 
suddenly upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, 
and slew thirty men of them, and took the "spoil, and 
gave the changes of garments unto them that had de- 
clared the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he 
went up to his father's house. And Samson's ""wife be- 
came his companion's who had attended him. 

^And it came to pass after a time, in the days of 
wheat-harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid. 
And he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. 
But her father would not suffer him to go in. And her 
father said unto him, I verily thought that thou hadst 
quite hated her ; and I gave her to thy companion : is 
not her younger sister fairer than she? let her be thine, 
I pray thee, instead of her. And Samson said unto 
them, This time I am blameless toward the Philistines, 
though I do them harm. And Samson went and 

And this leads on to that which follows, in which the fundamental lack of 
fellowship between Nazarite and Philistine comes clearly out, and the inevitable 
strife begins. Samson goes on to accomplish his maniage; makes a feast, accord- 
ing to the custom; and receives thirty companions, all Philistines, to be with 
him. He who is contracting a life-union with a woman of this people cannot 
refuse a wider connection. Immediately we find the riddle proposed, — a thing 
common enough in those days, as a test of wisdom; and which, we have to 
remember, as in Scripture not simply what the world counts such, but what is 
such before God. The riddle, in its spiritual meaning, is a true test of this; 
and it is not to be imagined that a Philistine can explain it. Samson has no 
such thought : but if they can do this, then they shall have each one a change of 
garments : for he that can penetrate the secrets of a life with God must have 
"habits" changed in accordance with it. They could not penetrate it : by dis- 
honest practicing on the Philistine wife they learn it, and are repaid with 
Philistine garments from Ashkelon, the "fire of infamy." Tlius they are 
suitably arrayed, and with their own shame; and so the necessary strife com- 
mences. The marriage is broken off; and Samson goes up to his father's 

(ii.) The second part of this story now begins, in which Samson is in open 
conflict with the Philistines all through. At first, indeed, he goes to visit his 
wife with a kid, ignorant of what has taken place, and finds she has been given 
to the one who had acted as his "friend," — the "friend of the bridegroom": 
a custom to which afterwards the Baptist makes well-known allusion (John iii. 
29). His wrath breaks out, not as private vengeance against the Timnathite, 
however, but against the Philistines as a whole. He catches three hundred 



15. 4-10. 

3. (XV. 6-20.) 
liaised ia 
the power 

to the 


* caught three hundred jackals, and took torches, and 
turned tail to tail, and put a torch in the midst, be- 
tween the two tails. And when he had set the torches 
on fire, he sent them off into the Philistines' * standing 
corn, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing 
corn as well, with the olive-gardens. And the Philis- 
tines said. Who hath done this ? And they said, Sam- 
son, the Timnite's son-in-law, because he took his wife, 
and gave her to his companion. And the Philistines 
came up, and 'burnt her and her father with fire. And 
Samson said unto them. If ye act thus, I will certainly 
be avenged on you ; and afterward I will cease. And 
he "smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter. 
And he went down, and abode in the * cleft of the cliff 
of Etam. 

^And the Philistines came up and encamped in Ju- 
dah, and "spread themselves in Lehi. And the men of 
Judah said. Why are ye come up against us? And they 

X ctr.l Sam. 

5. 17-25. 

<•/. Song 2. 



2 Cor. 10. 

y 2 Sam. 14. 

30, 31. 


19, 20. 

Josh. 5. 11 


2 Tim. 2. 8. 
2 ch. 14. 15. 

h cf. Ex. 33. 
21-23 with 
1 Cor. 10. 4. 

c 2 Sam. 5. 
17, 18, 22. 
ch. 6. 3-5. 

jackals, and joining them in couples by the tails, with a lighted torch between 
the tails, he lets go the terrified animals into the cornfields and olive-yards, just 
at the time of harvest. The destruction must have been immense; and the 
terror of Samson had already become so great, that, instead of revenging it upon 
the Israelite enemy, they take cowardly vengeance upon those that had provoked 
his wrath, and burn the Timnathite and her father with fire. But this does the 
very opposite of appeasing him. He smites them hip and thigh with a great 

The spiritual meaning of all this is more difficult than in the last case. The 
jackal we have seen elsewhere (Joshua, p. 98) to be the type of a nature that 
burrows in the earth, and feeds upon corruption. The fire behind might well 
represent the terror of divine wrath when breaking in upon such natures, work- 
ing upon them, not to conversion and blessiug, — mere wrath never does, — but 
to madness: in which the desire to escape only spreads abroad in a general 
devastation what they would escape from. The torches, though here very 
differently used, remind us of those in the hands of Gideon's men, which wrought 
the destruction of the Midianites, and would show us this wrath as what is pro- 
claimed in the testimony of living men. Times of widespread alarm in this 
way have been known in the history of the external church : panics which have 
been but disaster, and the anticipation of sure coming doom. 

Something akin to this seems to be shadowed here, though it may be hard to 
follow it into details; nor can we speak with any distinctness of the slaughter 
which ensues. But we may notice that Samson in his proper position of hos- 
tility to the power to which Israel is captive is never defeated; nor does he need 
alliances, or subtlety, or human wisdom, in any way. Alone, and unassisted by 
human arm, he is ever victorious, as leaning upon almighty power. The lesson 
of divine sufficiency is complete in him ; his very enemies have to recognize it. 
And this, in its principle, is not an exception to the ways of God. It is only the 
universal rule written large that we may the more plainly see it : to make an 
exception of it is to lose the lesson. 

(iii.) The third stage of this strange history is that in which Samson sinks to 
the lowest, as rejected and bound by his own people; and then rises, through a 
wonderful victory, to be ruler amongst them. The Philistines, now thoroughly 
roused by the blows he has inflicted upon them, invade Judah with a host, and 
pitch in Lehi. The place is named, in anticipation, from the "jaw" which he 
uses to discomfit them; and it becomes to them a place of crushing defeat. But 
Judah is completely spiritless and cast down. Almost as much afraid of their 

15. 10-17. 



e ch. 13. 1. 
ch. 14. 4. 
1 Cor. 7. 23. 

/c/. Gen. 37. 
Gal. 2.5,11- 

g ch. 16. 11. 

h ch. 3. 31. 
cf. Nu. 6. 6. 
Nu. 19. 16. 

said, To ''bind Samson are we come up: to do to him as 
he has done to us. And three thousand men of Judah 
went down to the cleft of the cliff of Etam, and said 
unto Samson, 'Knowest thou not that the Philistines 
are ruling over us ? What is this that thou hast done 
to us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, 
so have I done unto them. And they said unto him. 
We are come down to bind thee, that we may give thee 
into the Philistines' hand. And Samson said unto 
them. Swear unto me that ye will not fall upon me 
■''yourselves. And they spake unto him, saying. Nay, 
but we will bind thee fast, and give thee into their 
hands, but we will not kill thee. And they bound him 
with two new ^ cords, and brought him up from the 
cliflf. When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted 
against him. And the Spirit of Jehovah came suddenly 
upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms be- 
came as flax-threads that are burned in the fire, and 
his bands melted from off his hands. And he found the 
fresh * jaw-bone of an ass, and put forth his hand and 
took it, and slew with it a thousand men. And Sam- 
son said, With the jaw-bone of an ass I have made 
them asses; with the jaw-bone of an ass I have smitten 
a thousand men. And it came to pass when he had 

(lod-sent deliverer as of the people under whom they are in bondage, they go 
down, to the number of three thousand, to the cleft of the rock of Etam, where 
he had withdrawn, as it would seem, just from such danger, to bind and deliver 
him into the enemy's hand. Things are thus with him at the lowest point, 
while, on the other hand, the grace on his part is beautiful. With the con- 
sciousness of divinely-given strength upon him, he cannot use it against the 
people whom he is called to deliver, but quietly submits to be bound in order 
to being handed over to the Philistines. It is Judah, the lion-tribe, which thus 
is seen in lowest humiliation. 

When the Philistines shout in triumph, the Spirit of Jehovah once more 
comes upon Samson, and the new cords are but as flax in the fire : with one 
effort he is free. Once free, the jawbone of an ass arms him for the fight; and 
with this he slays a thousand men. He who had used before the mouth of a 
living ass to rebuke the madness of a prophet, uses now the jaw of a dead one as 
a weapon to defeat an army. The song of deliverance emphasizes this : — 
"With the jaw of an ass I have made asses of them; * 
With the jaw of an ass I have smitten a thousand men." 

The ass is not, in Scripture, the expression of stupidity, as with us ; but, 
generally, of intractability under the yoke: and so it seems here. The easy victory 
showed them to be rebellious to the yoke of divine sovereignty, — which, after 
all, it was bootless to resist. The mouth of the ass had rebuked the prophet, 
more stubborn than itself: his mouth had uttered rebellion, and by a beast's 

* This seems the real force of the so-called paronomasia. The Hebrew, as now punctuated,— 
"billechi hachamor chamor chamorcUhaim,"—Tea,Cis as in the margin of our common version, 
"a heap, two heaps," where the identity of words is altogether lost. The Septuagint, reading 

" cAamor cftamartim," translates e^CcXei(pGOV k^TjXeilpa. avrovi, " I have destroyed them," 
the Vulgate following this with delein eos. It might be rendered " with the jaw of the turbulent 
I have troubled them," giving the ass its ideal character, and preserving the connection between 
noun and verb. It seems to me, however, that, taking advantage of this, Samson uses the verb 
as more strictly synonymous with the noun, as above. The expression has the dLsadvantage 
with us of seeming mere vulgar coarseness, which it is not. 



15. 17-20. 

ceased speaking, that he cast the jaw-bone out of his 
hand, and he called that place Ramath-lehi. 

And he was sore ^athirst ; and he called on Jehovah, 
and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance by thy 
servant's hand ; and now shall I die of thirst, and fall 
into the hands of the uncircumcised ? And God •'clave 
the hollow that was in Lehi, and there came water out 
of it. And he drank, and his spirit came again, and he 
revived. Therefore its name was called En-hakkore, 
which is in Lehi to this day. 

And he *judged Israel in the days of the Philistines 
twenty years. 

< P8. 63. 1. 

j Ex. 17. 3-« 
with ver.8. 

k ch. 12. 8, 

ch. 16. 31. 

mouth was reproved. Here, where rebellion had been more open and utter, a 
beast's jawbone is used to smite it down. Here, indeed, is a folly that is made 
manifest to all. 

He casts the instrument of destruction out of his baud, and calls the place 
the "Jawbone Height." The lesson is worthy of preservation in the name. 
But God, who cares for his poor servant, must make him realize his own need of 
the same lesson. The heat and fatigue of the encounter affect him with a mortal 
thirst; and he who had been dealing death to othei-s realizes a danger from 
which his own hand is powerless to deliver him. He can only cry to Jehovah, 
and plead with Him His recent interposition on his behalf as argument for a 
new one. A good argument it is with the Unchangeable One, who is not a man 
that He should repent: yea, "with whom is no variableness, nor shadow of 
turning." The lesson, too, must be complete to be a lesson; and He who has 
just delivered Samson from the hands of the uncircumcised cannot possibly allow 
him now to fall into them. God, therefore, answers by cleaving the "Bmisiug 
place that is in Lehi, " so that water comes out of it, and he revives. The likeness 
to the rock cleft in the wilderness can hardly — is surely not intended to — escape 
us. The cross and its results for as are needed to be held in constant remem- 
brance; and the place of bruising — machtesh, the "mortar" — is not likely to 
make the reference here less plain. The connection with the scene that has just 
been before us is also evident : so plain that our common version speaks of it as 
the "hollow place" — "socket" it might mean — "that was in the jaw." That 
this is uot right, the fact of its being "in Lehi unto this day" is sufficient 
witness : but the connection is also clear. And the bruising-place that is in Lehi 
reminds us surely of the Philistine defeat. Yet the spring of water is in marked 
contrast. Not by "bruising," hut by being "bruised for our iniquity," did the 
Lord of glory bring forth living water for our death-fainf souls; and here the 
soldiers of the cross find continually their admonition and refreshment. Here, 
too, is the secret of how alone Satan is bruised, and every enemy succumbs in 
turn. How necessary a lesson for God's Nazarites, if they are to know and 
preserve the secret of strength ! Samson is now ready for the judgeship; and he 
judges Israel twenty years. 

3. We now come to the final section of the story, in which we find a rapid 
descent on Samson's part to utter destruction, as far as he can accomplish it. 
Indeed, although recovered by divine grace, it is only by death that he breaks 
the bonds by which he has bound himself His life goes out in one last victory, 
in which he perishes with the Philistines,— the link that he ha<l forged with 
them still prevailing even over his recovered strengtli. While, on their part, as 
it has been ever with the enemies of the people of God, the victory of the Philis- 
tines over him becomes their worst defeat at last. 

In this last .section, Gaza, the place of their ' ' strength, ' ' is the witness of their 
double defeat. The strength of God, which alone Samson's is, measures itself 
with that of the enemy, and prevails, spite of the mortal weakness found in the 
vessel of it. It is only thus the more manifested as divine; and in holiness 

ship lost 
and recov- 

1. (yy. 1-3.) 
The warn- 
ing of 

2. (vv. 4-22.) 

steps to self- 


I ctr. Matt. 
5. 27, 28. 
Jas. 4. 4. 

TO ver. 3( 
cr. Jer. 9. 23, 

n ch. 14. 1, 

1 Ki. 11. 1, 

16. 1-4. JUDGES. 

i (XVI.) 

3. 'And Samson went to Gaza, and saw a 'harlot there, 
and went in to her. [And it was told] the Gazites, say- 
ing, Samson is come hither. And they compassed [him] 
in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the 
city, and were quiet all night, saying, Until morning 
light! then we shall kill him. And Samson lay till 
midnight, and arose at midnight, and laid hold of the 
doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and 
pulled them up with the bar, and put them upon his 
'"shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the hill 
that faceth towards Hebron. 

^And it came to pass afterward, that he "loved a 

also against sin wherever found : the lust which is the lawlessness of a heart 
away from God, and the pride which would pervert His grace into a shelter 
for snch license. 

(i.) In the firet part of what we have here, — the divine gift of strength in 
Samson, so far from being recalled, is displayed in a way so signal as at first sight 
to obscure the evidence of the decline which has begun, and which is so soon to 
make itself disastrously apparent. For the moment he gains another brilliant 
triumph, as would appear, in the very presence of the enemy, appalled to utter 
inaction by the contemptuous daring of the Israelite. He walks into the place 
of strength, and breaks his way out of it again, leaving it dismantled, like a 
conquered city. He carries the gates in a direction pointing significantly enough 
toward Israelitish territory; and then drops them, with equal insult, where they 
can find them, — as if, after all, there were no need to deprive them of defenses 
so insignificant as they had proved. Even the moral decline which his presence 
there had demonstrated, and which (whatever their heathen manners might be), 
they could realize, no doubt, in a follower of Jehovah, seemed to have no effect 
in diminishing that wonderful strength Avhich had long before carried shame 
and ruin into the midst of their broken ranks. All this, for them, was a warning 
they would have done well to listen to, and did not; and the last blow came 
upon them unawares. 

But for Samson,, there was a warning to which he listened no more than 
they. True, God had not left him to the consequences of his pride and lust, and 
the strength of the Nazarite had not deserted him. But while he had splendidly 
insulted the enemy, he had not harmed him; and the strength which shonld 
have delivered Israel had, in this case, been put forth only to deliver himself. 
He had been forced to fle«, and not the Philistines. He had shown his strength, 
but gained no dignity. As between them and him God might still act for him, 
help him to escape by night even from the house of shame which he had entered, 
was there no warning for him as to that besetting sin of his which might yet 
make this gateless Gaza a steel trap to hold him ? Oh, that he had heard ! Oh, 
that men did hear ! 

From the first, the snare for the Nazarite had been a Philistine alliance. 
Then he had openly, and, in a sense, honorably, courted it. It was to be a 
marriage. The matured man seeks this no more; but alas, cannot restrain his 
lusts, though plainly unlawful. He can no more vindicate indulgence, but he 
can yield to it. How often is this, too, to-day the pit into which fall God's 
Nazarite strong men ! Principles with which open alliance is refused are toyed 
with, and courted dishonorably, embraced and thrown off at will. Yet, for a 
while strength may still be shown and exploits done, the enemy's stronghold be 
dismantled, and the gates carried away to an indefinite somewhere, facing toward 
Hebron. This they never reach, nor do we find there Samson either. 

(ii.) Grace resisted hardens the heart, and Samson, with his lesson all 
unlearned, is found now in the vale of Sorek, "entanglement?" No strong 



16. 4-17. 

woman in the valley of Sorek, and her name was Deli- 
lah. And the princes of the Philistines came up unto 
her, and said unto her, "Persuade him, and see wherein 
his great strength lieth, and how we may prevail against 
him, that we may bind him to subdue him, and we will 
^give thee, every one of us, eleven hundred pieces of sil- 
ver. And Delilah said unto Samson, Tell me now where- 
in thy great strength lies, and wherewith thou must 
be bound to subdue thee. And Samson said unto her, 
«If they were to bind me with seven fresh cords that 
have not been dried, then should I be weak, and be as 
another man. Then the princes of the Philistines 
brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been 
dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had 
liers in wait abiding in the chamber ; and she said unto 
him, Philistines are upon thee, Samson ! And he brake 
the cords as a thread of tow is broken at the breath of 
fire ; and his strength was not knoAvn. 

And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast 
mocked me, and spoken lies to me : tell me now, I pray 
thee, wherewith thou mayest be bound. And he said 
unto her. If they bind me with new ropes wherewith 
no work has been done, then shall I be weak, and be as 
another man. And Delilah took new ropes, and bound 
him with them, and said unto him, Philistines upon 
thee, Samson ! And there were liers in wait abiding in 
the chamber. And he brake them off his arms like a 

And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast 
mocked me, and spoken lies to me : tell me wherewith 
thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her. If thou 
shouldst weave with the web the seven locks of my 
head. And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto 
him, Philistines upon thee, Samson ! And he awoke 
out of His sleep, and tore out the pin of the loom and 
the web. 

And she said unto him, ""How canst thou say, I love 
thee, when thy heart is not with me? These three 
times thou hast mocked me, and not told me wherein 
is thy great strength. And so it was, when she pressed 
him daily with her words, and urged him so that his 
soul was vexed to death, that he *told her all his heart, 
and said unto her. No razor hath come upon my head ; 
for I am a 'Nazarite of God from my mother's womb : 
if I were shaved, then my strength would go from me. 

o ch. 14. 15. 

Nu. 25. 18. 

Prov. 2.16- 



p Nu. 22. 7. 

cf. ch. 17. 2. 


q cf. Prov.5. 
Jas. 1. is- 


r ch. 14. la 
2 Cor. 6. 14, 

* Mi. 7. 5. 

ct7: Jno. 4. 


1 ki. 10. 2. 
/ Ch. 13. 5. 

city is here to keep him in, — nothing but a weak woman's arms, and they are 
stronger than the gates of Gaza. Delilah means "e.xhausted, weak"; and it is 
by that which appears to us such we are often overcome : for in this respect, at 
least, we credit ourselves with strength, and do not find it. The blindness 
induced by sin is wonderful, and Samson here wonderfully illustrates it. He 
takes one step after another, drawiug nearer and nearer to the precipice into 
which at last he plunges recklessly. Each step taken makes the next easier. 

16. 17-27. 



The recov- 
ery: God 
ing Him- 
self thus 
against D&r 

and I should be weak, and be like all mankind. And 
Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, and she 
sent and called the princes of the Philistines, saying, 
Come up this once; for he has shown me "all his heart. 
Then the princes of the Philistines came up to her, and 
brought the money in their hand. And she made him 
"sleep upon her knees, and called a man, and she shaved 
off the seven locks of his head : and she began to subdue 
him, and his strength went from him. And she said, 
Philistines upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of 
his sleep, and said, "I will go out as at other times be- 
fore, and shake myself free. And he 'knew not that 
Jehovah had departed from him. And the Philistines 
seized him, and *put out his eyes, and brought him 
down to 'Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass, 
and he had to "grind in the prison-house. 

* And the hair of his head began to ""grow again after 
he was shaven. And the princes of the Philistines 
gathered themselves together to offer a great sacrifice 
unto "Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, 
Our god hath given Samson our enemy into our hands. 
And when the people saw him they praised their god : 
for they said. Our ''god hath given into our hands our 
enemy and the devastator of our land, who multiplied 
our slain. And it came to pass when their hearts were 
merry, that they said. Call Samson, that he may make 
us 'sport. And they called Samson out of the prison- 
house, and he made them sport ; and they set him be; 
tween the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that 
held him by the hand, Let me alone, that I may touch 
the pillars upon which the house standeth, that I may 
lean on them. Now the house was full of men and 
women, and all the princes of the Philistines were 
there, and there were on the roof about three thousand 
men and women, who were looking on while Samson 

"With each his eyes are more completely sealed. Then, when his ruin is complete, 
he is unconscious of it until the consequences overtake him. The details are 
here exceptionally hard to translate into spiritual meaning, while vre need not 
be less assured that such there is all through. On the other hand, it scarcely 
needs to moralize where moralizing is so easy. Such is the fatal power, — the 
hardening through the deceitfulness of sin ! 

( iii.) The Philistines make it the triumph of their god that Samson is deliv- 
ered into their hands, and thus it is needful that Jehovah manifest Himself. 
Samson also, blinded, begins to see more clearly than when the lust of his eyes 
enthralled him. His bonds set him free; his darkness enlightens him. The 
goodness of God it is that thus leaves His people to the consequences of their 
sins, that the bitter fruit may condemn the tree; and they may, by experience, 
however painfully, find fellowship with Him. How much better, indeed, to 
learn by His word through faith ! And this should be our profit from these sad 
and shameful histories. Still, if the Father's chastenings are needed, it is what 
must not be denied us: "He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His 

The application made by some of this history of Samson to the Lord seems too 

u vers. 7,11, 

V ver. 14. 

cf. Prov. 6. 


Rom. 13.11 

to ctr.lCiir. 

14. 10, 14. 

cf. 2 Cor. 

12. 10 with 

Phil. 3. 3. 
X cf. Ex. 34. 


1 Sam. 16. 

y cf. Gen. 
27. 1 with 

2 Pet.1.5-9. 
ctr. Deut. 
34. 7 with 
Acts 7. 55, 

z cf ch. 16. 1 

with Gal. 

a ctr. ch. 


c/. Deut. 28. 

47, 48. 

Matt. 26. 75 

with Juo. 

21. 15- 17. 
c 1 Sam. 5.2. 

1 Chr. 10. 9, 


ctr. Col. 2. 

d Dan. 5. 4. 

cf. Nu. 14. 

13-16 with 

Rom. 2. 24. 
e cf. 2 Sam. 

2. 14, 16. 

Heb. 11.36. 

17 ii. 



16. 27-17. 2. 

Its begin- 
ning, In the 
1. (W. 1-4.) 

First ori- 

made sport. And Samson called unto Jehovah, and 
said, Lord Jehovah, remember me, I pray thee, and 
•''make me strong, I pray thee, only this once, O God ! 
that I may take one vengeance upon the Philistines for 
my two eyes ! And Samson took hold of the two mid- 
dle pillars upon which the house stood — for he sup- 
ported himself upon them — one with his right hand and 
the other with his left ; and Samson said, Let me die 
with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with 
might : and the house fell upon the princes, and upon 
all the people that were therein. So the dead which he 
slew in his ^ death were more than those that he slew 
in his life. And his brethren and all his father's house 
came down and took him, and brought him up, and 
''buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol, in the sepul- 
chre of Manoah his father. And he had * judged Israel 
twenty years. 

DIVISION 3. (Chap, xvii.-xxi.) 

The corruption at heart manifest. 

Subdivision 1. (Chap, xvii.-xviii.) 
Godward: ivill^worship in the typical ^^judge^' (Dan). 


ND there was a man of Mount •'Ephraim, whose 
name was Mi " 
The * eleven hundred silver-pieces which were 


J-\ name was Micajehu. And he said to his mother : 
^ -*- The * eleven hundred silver-pieces which were 
taken from thee, and about which thou cursedst, and 

/ch. 14. 6. 
ctr. 2 Cor. 

{/ ctr. Jo8h. 

24. 30. 
h ctr. ch. 8. 

28, 32. 

2 Tim. 4. 


i ch. 15. 20. 
ctr. Ps. 72. 

J Ch. 19. 1. 
k ch. 16. 5. 

partial, too much contradicted by other parts, too little in harmony with the 
character of the book, aud with its place in the book, to be accepted with any 
satisfaction. Partial applications of this nature are easy to be made, but tend 
to confusion of all iuterpretation, and have been the reproach of the allegorical, 
especially. Even although we can put nothing better in their place, it becomes 
our duty to reject them in the interest of clear and consistent exposition of the 
word of God. The close of Samson's history is a most solemn one; and, at the 
end of this series of declensions and revivals, comes in a most solemn place. We 
must leave it for the prayerful examination of the Lord's people, aud as what 
calls for exercise of heart as well as for searching of Scripture. To introduce 
here a representation of the Lord's blessed work would seem to take the edge 
from the admonition it should convey to us, if at least this should be assumed 
to be the real object here of the Spirit of God. If it be simply meant as the 
suggestion by the history of the failed Nazarite of that true and perfect One who 
alone has never failed, this is no longer typical interpretation, aud does not fall 
within the compass of these brief outline notes. 

Div. 3. 
We have now reached the last division of the book, in which we have the 
revelation of the internal condition of the people, Godward and mauward, — the 
clear illumination of the whole history. For this, therefore, we go back before 
the history; for of this it is not the consequence, but the, and an abiding 
cause: for the Danite idolatry lasts, as we are told, quite through the whole 
period of the book. Not that this, by itself, is anything more than a sample 
of the state in general, having its significance in this — that it is but a 

m ctr. Nu. 
31. 48-54. 

17. 2-4. JUDGES. 253 

spakest in mine ears also : behold, the silver is with 
me : I ' took it. And his mother said, Blessed of Jehovah 
be my son ! And when he restored the one thousand 
one hundred pieces to his mother, his mother said, I 
had verily "'dedicated the silver to Jehovah from my 
hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten 
image : now therefore I will restore it unto thee. But 

Another thing is manifested in connection -with this — the need of a king. 
Men are, indeed, very far from doing even what is right in their own eyes; but 
to do this also is not enough. Give man a law, he cannot be trusted as to the 
interpretation of the law. It needs that there should be one apart from the 
influence of private ends and motives, to intei-pret for him, as well as with power 
adequate to the enforcement of the interpretation. This shows us how the book 
of Judges prepares the way for those of Kings; although in these, also, it is soon 
evident that among all that follow, the best are but the shadows of the true 
King, for whom all creation waits. Thus history becomes prophecy, and 
Messianic: for the longing born of the Spirit must have its accomplishment, 
and the " Desire of all nations " come. The Old Testament is but an unfinished 
and broken utterance apart from the New, — a witness to its own utter 

Yet though Christ has come, we are still typically in the days of Judges 
merely, as we have seen, and the want of a king is not less manifest now than 
then. Even Christianity has no perfection apart from the personal presence of 
Him whom it has made necessary to us. If the light has brightened — how 
much ! — since those Old Testament days, the shadows, too, have darkened. 
We, too, that have the first fruits of the Spirit groan within ourselves, waiting 
for the manifestation of the power to be put forth when He who is to come shall 
come, and change our bodies into the likeness of His glorious body, and take the 
whole world into His almighty new-creative hands. "Amen ! Even so, come. 
Lord Jesus ! " 

SUBD. 1. 

The witness to man's condition here is, as commonly, a double one; and as 
the second table of the law is based upon the firet, it is with the fii-st that we 
must begin. The idolatry in Dan precedes in moral order, probably historically 
also, the Benjamite war, though the latter was early, for Phinehas, the son of 
Eleazar, was then high priest. On the other hand, the seizure of Laish or 
Lesbem by the Danites is given in the book of Joshua (xix. 47). It is quite 
plain, therefore, that we have thus a new beginning, all the more significant as 
looked back to fiom the end, as God will one day require again the thmgs that 
are past. 

( i.) The idolatry in Dan is not original with them, but the transplanting of a 
sin begun in the house of a man no way prominent, as it would seem, in Israel. 
Leprosy will spread, in whatever member of a body it begins; and none may 
think himself too little or mean to become a propagator of disease that maj' 
infect a nation. There is, moreover, in sin a power of real and rapid evolution, 
a transmutability of species such as that it is certain that from one covetous act 
in Eden all the myriad forms of wickedness with which the world is filled to-day 
have been derived. Tiaced to its origin, as the Spirit of God would trace it for 
our profit, we have fii-st a man's theft from his mother of eleven hundred silver 
pieces, which, terrified by her curses, but without any repentance toward God, 
he restores. Apparently on the impulse of the moment, soon regretted, she 
dedicates it to Jehovali for a purpose absolutely forbidden by Him, to which 
finally she applies less than a fifth part. It is the old sin of the wilderness that 
she repeats, a founder making of it a graven image and a molten image, and she 
solemnly passes them over from her hand for her son to Jehovah, making no 
doubt of the acceptability of this to Him. 



17. 4-9. 

2. (vv. 5-13.) 

Levite for 


o Num. 17. 


Heb. 5. 4. 
p ch. 18. 1. 

ch. 21. 25. 
r Deut. 12. 

12, etc. 

he restored the silver unto his mother ; and his mother 
took two hundred silver-pieces and gave them unto the 
founder, who made of it a graven "image and a molten 
image, and it was in the house of Micajehu. 

'^ And the man Micah had a house of gods, and made 
an ephod and teraphim, and he consecrated one of his 
"sons, and he became his priest. In ^ those days there 
was no king in Israel : a man did what was right in 
his own eyes. And there was a young man out of 
« Bethlehem- Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a 
''Levite, and he sojourned there. And the man went 
out of the city, out of Bethlehem-judah, to sojourn where 
he might find [a place] ; and as he journeyed he came 
to Mount Ephraim, as far as the house of Micah. And 

Thus she is doing what is right in her own eyes, evidently; though of any 
movement of her heart to God there is not a trace. To make his own god and 
have it is the natural desire eveiywhere of the human heart away from Him. 
We need not use as much silver as did the woman here to make one. We may 
be less ignorant or more indifferent, possibly both; but will- worship is every- 
where essentially of the same pattern. This is why the case before us is so 
instructive to us. 

Morality and religion are sundered by supei-stition. The brigand has his 
crucifix and his rosary, and is still a brigand. "Nowhere is the Virgin more 
fervently adored than in the prisons [of Italy] by the malefactors and camorristi. 
The first demand made of a new-comer, immediately on his entry into the cells, 
is for a penny to furnish oil for the Vii'gin's lamp." This was the style of devo- 
tion of the mother of Micah, and the stream will rise no higher than its source. 
The man adopts his mother's religion, and the change is indicated in the clipping 
of his name, which, from Micajehu ("who is like Jehovah?") becomes Micah 
simply, meaning, probably, " who is dull of sight? " 

Dull of sight he is, assuredly, keenly looking after his own interest all the 
while, for what more profitable than a god of your own manufacture and in 
your own possession ? And all this takes place not in some remote corner of 
even the little Israelitish land, but in Mount Ephraim, quite near to Shiloh, 
where was the ark of God. Just so the golden calf was made under the shadow 
of Mount Sinai : for distance from God cannot be measured by latitude and 
longitude; heathenism is not the sigh of a heart that says, "Oh, that I knew 
where I might find Him ! " No ; it was " when they knew God, they glorified 
Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, 
and their foolish heart was darkened," — which is just the transformation of a 
Micajehu into Micah. 

Mount Ephraim is the place where Micah dwells, as it is the home of the 
Levite also iu the story that follows this. It is in the practical life that diseases 
of this kiud break out. We have seen the pride of Ephraim already developing 
itself iu relation to Gideon and to Jephthah. Afterwards the rival kingdoms are 
a more enduring memorial of it, and Jeroboam's calf-worship is established close 
upon its border. Even true fruitfulness has its danger in this direction, and 
pride and idolatry are never far apart. We do not know the forms of Micah'a 
idols : no doubt this is left vague, as unimportant : what matter wJiat supplants 
God in the heart? — the evil is only that He is supplanted. 

( ii.) Yet there is development: the thing is a living germ that grows. Micah 
with his gods must have his house of gods. Then he must have his ephod and 
his priest, and his gods themselves must be supplemented with the teraphim. 
All this was still "right" in Micah's eyes. When we are thus committed to 
the guidance of our own minds, quite a system may be easily elaborated; the 

17. 9-18. 1. 



The exten- 
sion of idol- 
atry toDan. 
1. (1-12.) 
The spies.. 

Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he 
said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehem- Judah, and 
I am going to sojourn where I may find [a place]. And 
Micah said unto him, Abide with me, and be unto me a 
father and a 'priest ; and I will 'give thee ten pieces of 
silver by the year, and a suit of clothes, and thy suste- 
nance. So the Levite went in. And the Levite con- 
sented to dwell with the man ; and the young man 
became to him like one of his own sons. And Micah 
consecrated the Levite ; and the young man became his 
priest and was in Micah's house. And Micah said, 
"Now I know that Jehovah will do me good, because a 
Levite hath become my priest. 


2. ^In "those days there was no king in Israel ; and in 
those days the tribe of the Danites sought for themselves 
an ""inheritance to dwell in ; for to that day [their lot] 


ctr. Nu. 8. 

t cf. Nu. 18. 


ctr. 1 Pet. 


11 cf. ver. 5. 
Num. 4.15. 

V ch. 17. 6. 

ch. 19. 1. 
Wf/. ch.1.34 




further we advance, the more completely do we get astray. How careful need 
we to be as to beginnings ! 

The matter of priesthood troubles him. He first consecrates one of his sons 
to be his priest, but he is uueasy about it : some reminiscence of the law will 
not allow him peace. Strange that we find nothing to indicate any alarm of 
conscience about his rival tabernacle, or even about his cars'ed and molten gods ! 
And we often find this strange anomaly among men. Conscience may be alive 
and sensitive upon certain points, when upon others it seems dead or paralyzed. 
And it is often the minor thing to which it is sensitive, Avhile to the greater it 
yields no response. Nor is this limited to unbelievers eitber, but the same 
thing is found among those that are truly the Lord's. In this case, however, 
as with Micah, it is generally the case that the awakened soul is easily quieted 
again, and with some half-truth which is but the perversion of truth. A Levite 
becomes his priest : and now he is radiant with satisfaction, and knows assuredly 
that Jehovah will do him good ! 

The Levite himself is another sign of the times. He is of the Levites of Judah, 
has been for a while in Bethlehem-judah, and wandered away again to find 
where he may another temporary resting-place. His is the restless loot of a 
stranger where he might have claimed inheritance, and he is ready to find a 
home where he should have been a stranger. Little solicitation prevails with 
him : his sustenance, a suit of clothes, a salary, has prevailed with many in all 
ages of the world, and the Levite exchanges his ministry for priesthood in the 
house of Micah, where the idolatry of the j)lace is sanctified with Jehovah's 
name. All this is simple enough to read by those that care, and Christendom 
has exhibited every detail of this transformation, — not, alas, as it would seem, 
a long process : a manufactured priesthood for manufactured gods, all covered 
with a fair name of orthodoxy, and men doing with great satisfaction what is 
right in their own eyes ! 

(2.) And the evil does not stop with this. We are now to see how the private 
sin becomes a public sin, and roots itself in a tribe of Israel. The tribe of Dan 
we have seen long since as linked in Jacob's prophecy with apostasy. Dan is the 
typical judge, and it is here the failure begins, and is so disastrous. With 
Samson's failure the book ends; but here we see the Danite, from the firet and 
all through, a failure. No tribe so signally fails to lay hold on its inheritance; 
and this is the only way in which we can understand that their lot had not fallen 
to them. They had suffered the Philistines to regain tlie cities upon the sea-coast, 
and the Amorites had forced them into the mountains. This loss of what is our 
own, and should be made our own, is often the reason of much restless activity 



18. 1-10. 

X Nu. 13. 2. 
Deut. 1. 22. 
Josh. 2. 1. 
Ch. 1. 23. 


Hos. 4. 12, 
2 <^. 2 Chr. 


had not fallen to them for inheritance among the tribes 
of Israel. And the children of Dan sent of their family 
five men of their whole number, men of valor, from 
Zorah and from Eshtaol, to ''spy out the land and search 
it. And they said unto them, Go and search the laud. 
And they came to Mount Ephraim, as far as the house 
of Micah, and lodged there. When they were near the 
house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man 
the Levite, aud turned in there, and said unto him, 
Who brought thee hither ? and what art thou doing in 
this place? and what hast thou here? And he said 
unto them, Thus and thus hath Micah done to me ; and 
he hath hired me, and I am his priest. And they said 
unto him, * Inquire, we pray thee, of God, that we may 
know whether the way in which we go shall prosper. 
And the priest said unto them, 'Go in peace: straight 
before Jehovah is the way in which ye go. 

And the five men departed and came to Laish, and 
saw the people that were therein, that they dwelt con- 
fidently after the manner of the Zidonians, "quiet 
and secure, and there was no one in the land who pos- 
sessed power to put them to shame in anything ; and 
they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business 
with any men. And they came unto their brethren at 
Zorah and Eshtaol; and their brethren said unto them, 
What [say] ye? And they said, * Arise, and let us 
go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, 
behold, it is exceeding good : and are ye still ? Be 
not slothful to go and enter in, to possess the land. 
When ye go, ye will come to a people secure, and the 
land roomy on both sides: for God hath given it into 
your hands, — a place where there is no want of any- 
thing on earth. 

among the people of God, and of much that looks like success in other directions. 
Their history, as far as their original possession is concerned, clings around 
Zorah aud Eshtaol, significant names when cut oflf from the rest that Grod had 
allotted them. They are here seen forced by their own slothfulness or timidity 
to seek an inheritance elsewhere; and were then as violent aud rapacious as 
before they were indolent. Human nature in fallen man commonly shows itself 
in extremes of this kind. 

From Zorah and Eshtaol they send out spies to search the land. Refusing 
God's choice for us we have, of course, to .search out for ourselves. This becomes 
a snare to them by means of Micah's images : the path that is not with God is 
always exposed to Satan's ambushes. 

Micah finds his judgment also through the Levite who was to Ije the means of 
blessing to him from Jehovah. The wandering Levite had been known to these 
wandering Danites, and they learn from him all about his present employment. 
He is not ashamed to speak of his hired priesthood, and they are quite ready to 
consult his oracle. Tliey get the usual ambiguous response, which they interpret 
according to their own desires: but the end of this is not yet. 

So the five men come to Laish, and here find the opportunity they seek. The 
Canaanites are living quiet and secure, in lawless self-indulgence, which shows 
them ripe for the judgment of God. They are evidently an easy prey; and they 

b tf. Nu. 13. 

18. 11-22. 




The rob- 
bery of the 

Aud there went from thence of the family of the 
Danites, out of Zorah and Eshtaol, six hundred men 
girt with weapons of war. And they went up and en- 
camped at Kirjath-jearim in Judah : wherefore they 
called that place Mahaneh-dan unto this day ; behold, 
it is behind Kirjath-jearim. 

^And they passed from thence to Mount Ephraim, 
and came to the "house of Micah. Then answered the 
five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and 
said unto their brethren, Know ye that in these houses 
are an ephod and teraphim and a graven and a molten 
image? now, then, consider what ye shall do. And 
they turned aside thither, and came to the house of the 
young man the Levite, the house of Micah, and asked 
him of his welfare. And the six hundred men who 
were of the children of Dan, girt with their weapons 
of war, stood beside the gate. And the five men that 
went to spy out the land went up, came in thither, 
[and] "^took the graven image and the ephod and the 
teraphim and the molten image. And the priest took 
his stand at the entrance of the gate with the six hun- 
dred men girt with weapons of war. And when these 
went into Micah's house and took the graven image, 
the ephod and the teraphim and the molten image, the 
priest said unto them. What are ye doing? And they 
said unto him. Hold thy peace; lay thy hand upon thy 
mouth, and come with us, and be to us a father and a 
priest :. is it 'better for thee to be a priest to one man's 
house, or to be priest to a tribe and family in Israel ? 
And the priest's heart was •''glad ; and he took the ephod 
and the teraphim and the graven image, and went in 
the midst of the people. And they turned and de- 
parted, and put the 'little ones and the cattle and the 
goods before them. When they were a good way from 

c ver. 2. 

d c/.Gen.31. 
19, 34. 

€c/. IC'or.l. 
12, 13. 
Eph. 4. Il- 


g cf. Gen.32. 
22, 23. 

return with the good uews to their expectant brethren. God's good news they 
would have it; for we see with keen eyes the sins of others, and pronounce God's 
judgments readily enough. Self-interest and self-flattery are potent in begetting 
a kind of religion; and the spies talk piously and fervently to their brethren. 
Soon there is a little army assembled at Kirjath-jearim, the forest city, which 
gives its suited character to the "Camp of Dan." 

(ii.) The six hundred follow the road taken by the spies, and come to the 
house of Micah ; and here the union of superstition with immorality once more 
manifests itself in a startling way. The spies recall their visit to the Levite, and 
the opportunity of securing the images for themselves seems to them all too 
favorable to let pass. Gods so helpless and so beneficent, whose virtue they 
perhaps supposed they had already proved, — for in idolatry it is vain to deny 
an efficacy attributed to the image, and thus the superiority of this to that 
Madonna, although as representations they are all the same. But blindness here 
is absolute: " they that make them are like unto them," says the inspired Word; 
"so is every one that trusteth in them." 

The hireling priest shows himself but a hireling. A greater personal advantage 
to himself outweighs at once all obligations to his employer, and he is "glad " 
of the robbery by which he is to benefit. For the Danites, as with other sacer- 



18. 22-31. 

3. (VV.27-S1.) 

The seizure 

of Iiaish, 

and the 

idolatry set 


the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses 
beside Micah 's house were gathered together and over- 
took the children of Dan. And they turned their faces 
and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest 
with such a company? And he said. Ye have taken 
my gods which *I have made, and the priest, and are 
gone, and what have I more? how is it, then, that ye 
say to me. What aileth thee ? And the children of Dan 
said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, 
lest angry men run upon you, and thou lose thy 'life 
and the lives of thy household. And the children of 
Dan went their way ; and Micah saw that they were 
too strong for him, and he turned and went back to 
his house. 

^ And they took what Micah had made, and the priest 
that he had, and came upon Laish, upon a people quiet 
and secure, and •'smote them with the edge of the sword, 
and burnt the city with fire. And they had no deliv- 
erer : for it was far from Zidon, and they had no * busi- 
ness with any man. And it was in the valley which 
[reacheth] to Beth-rehob : and they built the city, and 
dwelt in it. And they called the name of the city *Dan, 
after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Isra- 
el : hovvbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first. 

And the children of Dan set up for themselves the 
graven "'image: and Jonathan, the son of "Gershom, 
the son of " Moses, he and his sons were priests unto 
the tribe of the Danites until the day of the ^captivity 
of the land. And they set up for themselves Micah's 
image that he made, «all the time that the house of 
God was in Shiloh. 


i cf. Ezek.8. 

j ver. 10. 
k ver. 7. 

i Josh. 19. 


cf. Gen. 14 

m cf. 1 Ki 

12. 28, 29. 
n Ex. 2. 22. 
o cf. 1 Sam. 

8. 1-3. 
2) 1 Sam. 4. 

11, 21, 22. 

1 Sam. 6. 

with Ps.78. 

60, 61. 
q Josh. 18.1. 

dotalists to-day, it is not necessary to respect the man who by reason of his office 
is supposed to have the ear of God. Once again, morality is divorced from relig- 
ion, and He is not glorified but dishonored in those that draw near to Him. 

Little comment, surely, is needed here. The gainers have lost; the loser, if he 
knows it, has gained. The Danites depart with their booty in peace. 

( iii.) The third part shows us, briefly, the end of this sad story. The surprise 
of Laish is complete; and the Canaanites, doomed of God before, are cut oft". 
Laish becomes Dan. But there the idolatrous system begun by Micah is estab- 
lished, and abides till the captivity of the laud; that is, as we are informed, as 
long as the house of God continued at Shiloh. When the ark weut into captivity 
among the Pliilistiues, the sanctuary at Shiloh came to an end (Ps. Ixxviii. 60, 
61); and with the reformation under Samuel, the idolatry under Dan was no 
doubt swept away. 

But now we have revealed one of the saddest proofs of the decline in Israel 
that ha^l already taken place. The name of the Levite priest is Jonathan ("Je- 
hovah hath given,") the son of Gershom, the son o( Moses: scarcely the grandson, 
but certainly a de.scendant not far removed, of the great lawgiver. Of this and 
not Mana.sseh, as the true reading, there is no doubt. Only respect for so honored 
a name as that of Moses induced the alteration, — the " u " alone needed for it 
being suspended also over, rather than written in the word. "The significance 
of the statement," as Cassel observes, "lies in the contrast between descendant 
and ancestor. " So early and grave was the degeneracy of the people. 

19. 1-9. 




r ch. 18. 1. 
ch. 21. 25. 

s cb. 17. 1. 
u ch. 17. 9. 

V cj. Jer.3.1. 

w dr. Gen. 
24. 55, 56. 

X cf.l K1.13. 
15, 16. 

y Qf.% Sam. 

Subdivision 2. (Chap, xix.-xxi.) 
Breach between man and man: the Benjamite war. 


ND in those days there was •'no king in Israel ; 
and there was a certain Levite who sojourned 
on the far side of Mount 'Ephraim, and he took 
himself a 'concubine out of " Bethlehem -judah. And 
his concubine played the whore against him, and went 
away fi'om him to her father's house, to Bethlehem- 
judah, and was there the space of four months. And 
her husband rose up and went after her to speak 
kindly to her, to "bring her back, and his servant was 
with him, and a couple of asses. And she brought him 
to her father's house; and when the damsel's father 
saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. And his father-in- 
law, the damsel's father, retained him, and he "* abode 
with him three days : so they ate and drank and lodged 
there. And it came to pass, on the fourth day, when 
they rose up early in the morning, that he arose to de- 
part: and the damsel's father said unto his son-in-law, 
''Refresh thy heart with a morsel of bread, and after- 
ward ye shall go your way. And they sat down and 
ate and drank both of them together. And the dam- 
sel's father said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, 
and 2' pass the night, and let thy heart be glad. And 
the man rose up to depart ; but his father-in-law urged 
him, and he lodged there again. And he rose up early 
in the morning of the fifth day to depart, and the dam- 
sel's father said, Refi-esh thy heart, I pray thee; and 
they tarried till the day declined ; and they ate, both 
of them. And the man rose up to go, he and his con- 

SUBD. 2. 

We now come to the sins against the second table of the law. The breach 
with God sundei-s all links at once, and the whole framework of society shows 
itself as ready to fall to pieces. The story here is a sickening one; and if it is 
thus given us in detail, there must be corresponding need on our part. It does 
not follow that it will furnish proportionate material for such notes as these, the 
lesson being so strictly a moral one, and needing so little an interpreter. But 
what a world is this, in which such scenes can be ! The thing we need is to trace 
them to their root, and let the shock which they produce make us cling close 
to those paternal arms, which, circling us all, alone can hold us fast to one 

We hear once more of Mount Ephraim and of Bethlehem-jndah: the figure of 
a Levite is again prominent, and not with honor; but the place of Laish is now 
filled by Gibeah, and the tribe connected with it in shame is not Dan but Ben- 
jamin. But all Israel is here, in one way or other, involved; and the shadow left 
upon the people is a dark and terrible one. 

1. We have first the account of the awful deed at Gibeah. The Levite and his 
concubine are evidently intended to convey to us the general laxity. The woman 
is hardly lighter than the man. The five days of eating and drinking at Beth- 
lehem have their moral significance: then the departure, when too late; the notice 
of Jerusalem as a Jebusite city, twice apparently recovered out of the hands of 
the Israelites, and Judaeans and Benjamites having been driven out from their 
partial hold upon it. It is now a city of the stranger; but no more strange than 



19. 9-22. 

z cf. Eph. 5. 


cubine and his servant ; and his father-in-law, the 
damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now, the day 
draweth toward 'evening, tarry the night, I pray you: 
behold, the day declineth, tarry the night here, and let 
thy heart be glad; and to-morrow get you early on 
your way, that thou mayest go to thy tent. But the 
man would not stay the night, and rose up and departed, 
and came over against "Jebus, that is, Jerusalem ; and 
there were with him two asses saddled, and his concu- 
bine was with him. 

They were near Jebus, and the day was far spent ; 
and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, 
and let us turn aside to this city of the Jebusites, and 
tarry the night there. And his master said unto him, 
We will not turn aside to the city of the * stranger, that 
is not of the children of Israel, but we will pass over to 
'Gibeah. And he said unto his servant. Come, and let 
us draw near to one of these places, and we will stay 
the night in Gibeah or in Ramah. And they passed 
on and went their way, and the "^sun went down on 
them [when they were] by Gibeah, which belongeth to 
Benjamin. And they turned aside thither to go and 
lodge the night in Gibeah. And he went in, and sat 
him down in the open place of the city : for there was 
*no one who took them into his house to pass the night. 

And behold, an old man came from his work out of 
the field at even, and the man was of Mount -^Ephraim, 
and himself sojourned in Gibeah ; but the men of the 
place were Benjamites. And he lifted up his eyes, and 
saw the wayfarer in the open place of the city ; and the 
old man said. Whither goest thou ? and whence comest 
thou? And he said unto him. We are passing from 
Bethlehem-judah toward the further side of Mount 
Ephraim : from thence am I ; and I went unto Bethle- 
hem-judah, and I am going to the ^ house of Jehovah; 
but there is not a man to receive me into his house. 
Yet we have both straw and provender for our asses, 
and I have bread and wine also for me and for thy 
handmaid, and for the young man who is with thy 
servants : there is no lack of anything. And the old 
man answered. Peace be to thee, but let thy needs be 
on me : only '* lodge not in the open place. And he 
brought him into his house, and gave provender unto 
the asses : and they washed their feet, and ate and 

Gibeah of Benjamin, with its ominous lack of common hospitality. The one 
who receives them at last is an Ephraimite; and touched, perhaps, by the recog- 
nition of one from his own locality. His Levite character seems not to be in the 
traveler's mind,* — though he is afraid, as well he might be, of the Cauaauite city. 

• Except with Kell and Cassel we translate verse 18, " I walk at the house of Jehovah," that Is, 
" my walk In life " Is there. But few accept this, however, and the expression seems a strange one. 
On the otlier hand, the mention of the house of Jehovah at all seems strange also, as he was simply 
going home. If he speaks of his calling, however, It seems mere wounded dignity. 

b cf. Deut 

17. 15. 

c cS.\ Sam. 


a cf. Eph. 4, 

e cf. ver. 12. 
/ver. 1. 

(7Ch. 18. 81. 

19. 22-20. 2. 


The war. 

drank. While they were making their hearts merry, 
behold, men of the city, sons of Belial, surrounded the 
house, beating at the door, and they spake to the master 
of the house, the old man, saying, 'Bring out the man 
that came into thy house, that we may know him. 
And the man, the master of the house, went out to them 
and said to them. Nay, my brethren, I pray you, do 
not wickedly, seeing this man is come into my house ; 
do not this folly. Behold, my •'daughter, a virgin, and 
his concubine, them will I bring out now, and hum- 
ble them, and do with them what seemeth good unto 
you ; but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But 
the men would not hearken unto him ; so the man took 
his concubine, and brought her out unto them : and 
they knew her and abused her all the night until 
the morning ; and when the morning-dawn arose, they 
let her go. And the woman came at the dawning of the 
day, and fell down at the entrance of the man's house 
where her *lord was, till it was light. And her lord 
rose up in the morning, and opened the door of the 
house, and went out to go his way ; and, behold, there 
lay the woman, his concubine, at the entrance of the 
house, and her hands up